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Farm, Featured, News

Winter Off-Shore Crop Update

December 28, 2021

As we near our Mexican season, what’s happening south matters

I don’t think there could be a more unusual offshore mango season than the one that is currently happening. Perhaps it’s not unusual in the grand {supply chain} scheme of things considering ports and vessel issues are  one of the main problems.

Currently Ecuadorian fruit, which has been riddled with quality problems still lingers. Assumptions are it will be finished in the next week. Peru which began early, is now assumed to be in peak mode. But you wouldn’t really see that in terms of our marketplace. There is indeed significant volume out of Peruvian mango orchards  this year, but there is a serious shortage of vessel space in particular to the USA, which means there is very little fruit in comparison to years past.

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Farm, Featured, News

Big & Juicy Predictions for the New Year

December 28, 2021

2022 Mexican mango crop forecast seems to looking sweet

(Click here to read my offshore crop update)

Predictions for the new year rain down hard during this time of year. Experts and non-experts alike – not to mention annoying influencers – are all giving us their hot takes on the year ahead. Like clockwork, each year at this time, food, weather, clothes, politics, marketing trends, astrological prophesies and more are prognosticated upon.

In our particular industry, we are often bombarded with articles and trend predictions that ruminate on the next big it fruit or vegetable. Countless marketing newsletters flood our inboxes with opinions on whether the plant-based EVERYTHING fad is here to stay, on whether potato milk be the new oat milk, and on what item will replace mushrooms as the hippest health trend in produce?

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Farm, Featured, News

Blooming In the Southern Mango Orchards

November 23, 2021

Ataulfo orchards bloom and we untwist season start intel

This week I have been fielding a lot of questions about when the Mexican mangoes will start up again. It’s common for me to get these emails and calls this time of year. People get confused and excited. I think as it gets colder everywhere we all want the Mexican mango season to happen sooner, after all it signals warmer weather here.

The bad news is we are still a few months away so wait we must.  The good news is the weather thus far has been great, lots of water filling the orchards and water tables. It’s way too early for us to release much of any serious information, or actual crop reports.  Year after year, after year the weather in January dictates everything for the start. Climate change in particular makes gauging start times tough, especially the beginning of a season/region.

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Farm, Featured, News

Late Season Brooks Mangoes!

August 30, 2021

Empaque Don Jorge expands the season with late varietal trials

There are always “good” and “bad” parts to any growing season. If you ask most growers (including the Crespo’s) “was this a good season or a bad one?”, most will say that it was not a great one. The entire season was ripe with problems, mostly the kind that cost more money and bring in less.

Mango farmers had to work twice as hard for a lot less money this season overall. The drought caused significant problems on the growing side and customers, especially wholesalers and distributors struggled with labor and logistics issues, making the distribution process often hellish and any normal quality defect, even slight cosmetic ones, impossible to maneuver through.

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Farm, Featured, Secrets & Lies

#OrchardReport

July 13, 2021

The yin and yang of seasonal rains, an abundance of complexities

 

Someone asked me recently why I haven’t posted anything under my Secrets & Lies category for a while. Most of the truth of my answer was I forgot about it. But buried in that answer is also, I (like everyone) sometimes don’t like to talk about the truth because its complex and I fear people won’t understand, will take it the wrong way or use it against me. When you also speak on behalf of a brand or a big mango system, it can be frightening to put out hard truths.

The lack of communicating existing or potential quality problems is one of the biggest industry secrets and lies there is, as if burying these truths helps anyone. So here I am being the risktaker/bettermaker that I am. Here to not alarm us, but put us into a proactive stance, where information is the key to the successful remainder of the Mexican mango season.

We have been in the midst of a serious drought that has brought a multitude of complexities to the entire Mexican mango season thus far. Those complexities seem likely to continue as seasonal rains have started, pounding the current Sinaloa growing sub regions (around El Rosario and Esquinapa) with lots of water over the last few weeks.

While it’s true that any amount of rain always brings some drought relief, it can also bring with other problems, especially when the pendulum swings to totally to the other side as it has going from no rain to lots at once.

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Farm, Featured, News, People

Crespo Organic Malika Mangoes

June 21, 2021

Indian mangoes, grown in Mexico &  where Jorge the Mango Man has been….

It’s been a while since we have had fun with the Where is Jorge the Mango Man videos. Part of that is because the small team of us on the marketing side, the ones that make the videos, have been bogged down all season with other projects; new box designs, new marketing campaigns, new mango packaging, new products (retail dried mangoes- launching later this summer) and a bevy of other big behind the scene projects.

Another aspect of this hiatus from the Where is Jorge fun is that he’s mostly been buried in top-secret projects, many of which have been too early in the process to talk about. I recently got a sneak peek at many of those projects on my Boot on the Ground trip to Mexico.  And am happy to report today, we can at least talk about one of those projects.

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Culture, Farm, Featured, Kitchen, News, People

Boots On The Ground (Flipflops Technically)

June 8, 2021

Under the Crespo mango trees, I find efficiency, ingenuity, mango joy and #muchosmangoes

 The “Propaganda Lady” is what they called me last week at Empaque Don Jorge, as I walked around with my mask and hairnet snapping photos and filming staged and impromptu videos. I’ve learned to see the big smiles in the eyes of so many masked strangers. The extreme warmth of the packing house was more than the intense Sinaloa summer heat. It was, as I say in much of my “propaganda,” #PuroMexico #PuroAlegria! A warmth like no other. I loved every moment of my time there.

Propaganda is Spanish for marketing, and it makes me giggle, and reminds me of the simplicity and clarity that most other languages employ. English on the other hand seems sneakier, using multiple words to describe the same thing, but choosing one or the other depending on what is to be propagandized.  In Spanish, propaganda simply suggests that whatever the messaging is, it often has another purpose – in this case, to educate customers about our mango production process and about mangoes generally

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Farm, Featured, News

The Little Fruit Season

June 8, 2021

A real time peak into the Mexican mango orchards

Back in April, right before the transition from the southern regions to the northern regions, we reported about the little Ataulfo mangoes and the drought that was causing them. We further reported that the transition north would result in similar sizing on not just Ataulfos but the round mangoes as well and that the same drought, is running up the continent.

Eventually the rest of the industry followed our lead and  starting talking and reporting about the northern regions alarming predictions for small fruit. Here we are now a few weeks into the Nayarit season and we still encounter disbelievers, folks that want to order 6 and 7cnts and are not willing to budge.

Trust us, trust the others, the fruit is small. In Nayarit and Sinaloa.

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Farm, Featured, News

Smooth Transition North

May 11, 2021

Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Nayarit line up for consistency in supply

By nature, transitions can be tricky. Shifting from the southern regions to the northern regions is typically unpredictable and complex. This year, it is proving to be exactly that.

The southern regions have produced a good amount of fruit, mostly on the smaller side and mostly because people like us (Crespo) have strategically increased our orchards there, in order to gain greater volume earlier, capture a bigger percentage of market share immediately, and jumpstart consumer demand sooner. There have been complexities as usual but we maneuver through them fairly well, mostly because of the direct-trade relationships we have with our customers, and the communication and exchange of information on the challenges and opportunities in advance allowing us to together, strategize, knowing each customer and region has different needs.

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Farm, Featured, News

Little Ataulfo Mangoes

April 23, 2021

An opportunity knocking down the door

I originally started to write this blog to share important news on the organic mango industry to organic mango customers and interested consumers in real time. I saw a gap between what I was privy to versus what American buyers knew (or didn’t know is more like it) when it came to mangoes, organics and certainly the day-to-day crop and market interrelations.

In my early years, I had learned that when buyers had factual information, long-term (and better) sales opportunities could be made. Stronger relationships were built between consumers, buyers and farmers which set us off on a greater solution-oriented trajectory.

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