Farm, Featured, News

“Little” Fruit Brings Opportunity

May 31, 2023

Crespo mango expertise bridges transition into Summer Mango Mania

 I’ve been selling organic mangoes for a long time and, as so many of us forget, the greatest season-long program success happens when you nail the transitions. It’s the performance during the transition that dictates what stores have fruit and at what price. Just like in music, those connecting notes, the transitions is what leads you to the next phase of the whole. We take the transitions seriously, we get creative and we utilize the partnerships we forget with customers, making it work. Clear communication, more than anything is pivotal for any transitional success, in particular when there are volume supply or quality issues at play. The direct relationships to customers and the nimble work we do together, with the trust of the consumers who fuel our program, make the transitions easier to maneuver through so we can build and grow successful organic Mexican mango programs…. This is what we are known for.

The Crespo’s fully and vertically integrated supply chain and direct-trade selling system is what makes them the mango experts. It’s because of that expertise we will not skip a beat in the final days of the great mango transition, which is when a regional production shift from southern Oaxaca & Chiapas to Northern Nayarit and Sinaloa happens.

As you will hear me say on Todd Lindsky’s podcast Toddversations recently, “when I met the Crespo’s I discovered that organic mangoes didn’t have to be a  big, chaotic puzzle mess.”  That’s basically what I said? anyway. (You can listen to my episode HERE). With the Crespo’s I learned it is possible to have consistency from season start to end and maneuver smartly around nature, which is not to be controlled.

The reality is that, for those that drink the Crespo Organic Mango program “Kool Aid,” the Mexican mango season is one in which sales and consumer excitement continuously grow, regardless of orchard nuances and transitional challenges. It is precisely inside the transitions where we excel, with packhouses in all organic growing regions, including Empaque Don Jorge (El Original), the largest hydrothermal mango packhouse in Latin America. Which has been opened since early may and made things much easier during the long transition from south to north.

The final week of this big transition is here. My phone rings constantly with all the “big” brokers looking for all sizes, scrambling to get through the final days of the transition and even beyond. With so much conventional fruit flooding all markets, we sometimes forget that organic mangoes are not the same, they can be tricky business for those that do not own their orchards. All the cheap prices that have been invented on the organic side don’t mean much when the fruit doesn’t exist.

Reality matters and clear communication matters and pricing that is made through mutually beneficial partnerships matters. Yes, there is a lot of fruit coming in the weeks ahead and, yes, we will continue to build and grow programs on all sizing and, yes, there is an exciting opportunity as we inch closer to the onset of Crespo Organic Summer Mango Mania for incredible consumer price points on smaller fruit. There is plan, there are mangoes coming, but the transition comes first, I think a lot of folks forgot that this year, they also forgot about last year’s record pricing and orchard woes from last season’s transition, which lasted until early July.

This year we have a generally “ mild” transition as these things go.  The Crespo Organic mango program is currently moving through a seamless volume transition as harvest increases throughout the Nayarit region and are about to start in Sinaloa (we’re talking gigantic volumes in the northern regions), but round fruit yields will be predominantly small fruit. Some forecasts point up to 95% small fruit. Small fruit in this case is 10/12cnts on the rounds and 18cnts on the Ataulfos. Is this ideal? No, but it is reality. And it’s totally doable and there are abundant opportunities for those that see them.

Lack of rain is behind the small sizes. There has not necessarily been a drought, just lack of rain during the opportune times. Rain grows the size of the mangoes. But the lack of rain in the south also helps us continue with selective harvesting of big fruit in Chiapas, allowing us to sustain some larger size specific programs. ( This is that mango expertise I speak of.) We will operate in Chiapas for as long as we can. Trucking to Nogales continues to be an issue from the south so it’s not without challenges, too. Quality has been incredible due to the lack of rain, offering peak sweetness and flavor.

Our Nayarit Kent harvest will begin around the second week of June, and the Kents are predicted to yield some larger fruit, alleviating some pressure for processors and big fruit diehards, nothing  too gigantic, but we should be able to accommodate more 8/9cnt volume programs with the northern fruit and some 6/7’s, assuming the weather gives a little. Our southern crops will help bridge this gap of bigger fruit.

Keep in mind one of the main factors in climate change is the varied predictability and consistency between varietals. The Ataulfo crop, which transitioned in early May in the Nayarit region has a lot more size variance. While it’s true that the entire Nayarit crop is mostly medium to small size, there are some microregions with bigger fruit. Sinaloa Ataulfos are currently starting up and are also predicted to be predominantly 18cnt, but should yield some larger fruit as well in some of our water dense orchards. I’ll put out an updated Sinaloa CROP REPORT in a few weeks to see if anything has changed. A little rain can go a long way in sizing.

We expect to commence round mango harvest in our Sinaloa orchards between the 2-3rd week of June. Size yields should be bigger than Nayarit, but still without any abundance of 6/7 cnts – yielding predominantly 9/10cnts.

We anticipate predominately smaller fruit for the most the Nayarit and Sinaloa season, a little rain can change that, keep I mind.

With Crespo Organic Summer Mango Mania right around the corner (starting June 12th and moving through July 31st)  10 and 12cnts offer amazing price points. We are ready for the wall of mangoes coming and our customers are too! We are currently offering BIG discounts on both of these sizes for the mania and extra discounts for sporadic ads and volume through July 31st and likely beyond!

The news is good from here on out. #MuchosMangoes is prevalent and there is plenty of mango mania electricity both in-store and virtually in the works to continue to increase the unprecedented mango demand that seems to keep growing and growing. We have over 7 varietals coming on during the Summer Mango Mania and lots of exiting mango electricity to support the buzz.  Mark your calendars for June 12th when we drop our summer calendar. Here is a look at last year’s. This year’s is WAY bigger and will bring even more #MangoJoy.

We will, of course, continue to watch the weather, more hot weather coupled by some rain and the fruit will gain size. Either way there are opportunities with #MuchosMangoes coming. Our ability to pack and ship what we need where we need it when we need it allows for the best allocation placements, keeping all of our programs intact and thriving !

And let, us not forget we have Jorge The Crespo Mango Man’s secret weapon orchard, right outside our hometown of Rosario, along the Baluarte river. This orchard consists of over 150 hectares of certified organic mangoes of several different varietals nestled into the river: Tommy Atkins, Kent, Keitt, Ataulfos and some specialty mangoes. These orchards are incredibly healthy and vigorous with greater volumes of “large” fruit since it’s filled with wells that fill up with the seasonal rains. The wells are full despite the current lack of rains!

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