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Featured, Kitchen

Summer Mango Salads!

June 7, 2024


Easy, breezy mango-centric summer salads that’ll make you love the Tommy Atkins

I dedicate this post the Mango Hunter – Jeff Ray, who is known to occasionally bad mouth the Tommy Atkins on social media. This summer her rejoins our Summer Mango Mania with more Recipe Roulette and we decided to challenge his notions and teach everyone one of the best parts about this firm fleshed mango and its ability to stand on its own in a summer salad- fruit, lettuce or otherwise! You can use any mango in these salads but we prefer the tommy and hope Jeff makes the recipes using them too, just to show us all how versatile these mangoes can be.

Most important our favorite mango-centric summer salad recipes are seasonal, inexpensive to make and easy to whip up. Maybe most importantly that can feed a hungry crowd (elegant or casual) and please them with massive doses of #MangoJoy. With these salads in your mango repertoire you wont just be able to utilize mangoes more efficiently but all fruits, vegetables, vinegars and citrus juices-keeping final dishes light, fresh and healthy.

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Featured, News

Mango Update: Embracing Imperfection

June 4, 2024

Straggling Ugly Mangoes  & The First Summer Mango Mania Displays

 As of this weekend, all packinghouses in Oaxaca and Chiapas have shut down for the season. The last batch of round mangoes was shipped out of our packinghouse, Bola de Oro, last Friday. The final shipment of Oaxacan Ataulfo mangoes had occurred about a week earlier. The transition from south to north appeared “fine,” but, as I have mentioned before, it was actually a challenging shift. These changes in regional volumes are often difficult, particularly on the organic side of things, which is my primary focus, from where I sit,  under my mango tree.

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Featured, News

{Organic} Transition North

May 10, 2024

Positive direction forward, propelled by consumers

When times are tough, as they have been for the mango industry it’s important to keep perspective, something I can be both good and bad at as stress can get the best of me, just like it does all of us. But perspective is important and there is no better place to find produce perspective than through those that have boots on the ground. My latest crop report is speckled with a lot of positivity and a reminder that even when times are tough its possible to create a chain of success throughout the entire chain….from orchard to table. I’m not denying its been hard, I’m simply acknowledging that by working together we create a thriving mango environment that moves forward, despite the setbacks!

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Four Seasons Fresh Fest for the second year in a row. This even is truly an amazing experience. I don’t often work a booth, Id always rather work a tasting and cutting demo at retail, but this even is the one that gets me off my busy butt and on a plane into the middle of Pennsylvania. I do it because it puts me in touch with the fruits of all of our labor and this year I needed that more than most.

Meeting with a multitude of small, medium and large retailers and produce managers along with the sales people that engage with these folks daily gets me to the heart of the selling side and a closer perspective of the shopper, who essentially rules all. I get the opportunity to understand various problems from different perspectives, sow seeds for solutions, and foster human connections. It’s a reminder that our interactions are about more than just transactions.

During the same eventful weekend, we had the pleasure of directly connecting with consumers at one of our Mango Tastings & Cutting Demos during the grand opening of a new Nature’s Food Markets store in New Jersey, alongside Four Seasons. This opportunity not only deepened our insights, spread more #MangoJoy more directly from farm to table, educated more mango shoppers and as one person put it, ” sold a sh*it ton of mangoes!”

Despite the persistent challenges faced this mango season, which I have continuously reported on, I made a remarkable discovery during my excursion east. Despite the difficulties, customers and consumers continue to experience significant #mangojoy, driving consistent and profitable sales of #muchosmangoes, and remaining relatively joyous and excited about mangoes despite the higher market prices we’re all grappling with.

My latest crop report is set against the backdrop of this – it’s viewed through new mango blush-colored lens. In essence, I see a lot more positivity, and I’m certain that all of us who have been toiling behind the scenes, especially Jose Angel Crespo, who bears the most stress of any of us, can appreciate this newfound perspective.

Bottom line the season is tough, and it is expected on the organic side to remain tough for several more weeks before we feel some respite when production transitions to the more voluminous production zones in the north, where our main packhouse Empaque Don Jorge- Latin Americas largest hydrothermic mango packhouse, eagerly awaits packing more fruit.

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Featured, News

Private Mango Webinar

April 29, 2024

Schedule a private zoom or pursue the interactive PDF at your own pace

It’s time to promote!  It’s time to, engage, excite and entice consumers with all things MANGO!  Outside of the  stabilizing volumes and downward trajectory pricing, we have all the value added components to BUILD and GROW and SUSTAIN your organic mango programs.

Our helpful MARKETING WEBINAR will guide you down the path to Crespo Organic mango success. We offer private 30-minute Zoom sessions for your sales and marketing teams. Alternatively, individuals can explore our Interactive PDF at their convenience, delving into all our sweet educational resources at their own pace. Learn the ins and outs of the program, from orchard to table, and empower your team with valuable insights for not just optimal mango program growth but total #MANGOJOY – we want to create a mango environment where everyone is dripping in success.

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Featured, Kitchen

Mango & Blackberry Cheese Danish

April 26, 2024

A nostalgic childhood memory and an easy {mango-centric} weekend endeavor

As a child, I adored cheese Danishes. Back then (yes, I’m that old) local bakeries were abundant, crafting freshly baked goods daily. Starbucks hadn’t emerged yet, so those artificially flavored, preservative-laden pastries were rare, mainly found in gas stations, packaged for on-the-go consumption. Ironically, even those seemed fresher than today’s Starbucks versions, which appear designed (and grossly) to last indefinitely.

One particular cheese Danish memory from a bakery in Solvang, CA, remains etched in my memory after spending a day there with my dad as a kid. If you ever find yourself near Solvang, CA, a quaint Danish settlement nestled just off the coast in the Santa Ynez Valley amidst vineyards and European-style bakeries, you must indulge. The town still exudes Danish charm, and its bakeries craft the perfect cheese Danish, often with the freshest California fruits transformed into delectable jams strewn atop the Danishes.

A cheese Danish is a pastry with a creamy cheese filling encased in a flaky pastry crust, sometimes enhanced with fruit jam. It’s a cherished pastry worldwide, especially in Denmark, and it’s everywhere in Solvang! Continue Reading…

Featured, News

Mango Difficulties Continue (Crop Report)

April 17, 2024

Planning, committing, flexibility and a love of small things key to success

Currently mango markets are confusing. There is a lot less fruit on the trees in comparison to previous years.  While there is fruit available, it tends to be smaller in size. Ataulfos are more abundant (overall) compared to previous years, yet they are also smaller, and with an extraordinary, heightened demand. Despite an increase in the number of orchards in production, actual yields are proving to be inconsistent and generally lower than usual. Organic production is generally a smaller portion of large so anything lower in yield makes the gap more profound.  Conventional markets are flooded with small fruit, lacking larger options, and the pricing on the market hides some of the nuances, after all if there are no 14cnt Ataulfos, what does it matter is the price is lower? Michoacan is in full swing and mostly producing 12cnt sizing on conventional rounds.  Growers are hesitant to accept lower prices and are holding out for best offers, they are in fact seeing less fruit yields first hand. EMMEX reports show some good numbers, but they don’t really place them against the backdrop of the insatiable demand. Guatemala is producing good volumes (only conventional) but they only have 10-12cnts, adding to overall volume numbers in all reports but also adding to the generally lower conventional prices. Many current conventional contracts are viewed as loss leaders. The real question is really if the wall of mangoes everyone keeps talking about is real or merely a mirage. Either way its important (as I always say) to sperate the organic and conventional if we want organic programs to be successful. Organic programs take a lot of precision, which means we have to at some point drown out the conventional noise.

Organic and conventional mango markets present a monumental contrast akin to the David and Goliath tale. From the vantage point of the organic mango tree under which I sit, it’s the organic facts that hold the utmost significance. Despite my usual knack for navigating information flows, this season has presented unprecedented challenges, leaving me somewhat at a loss, yet persistently trying to gather accurate data.  My information  this season is often lacking, but it’s what I got.

There is good and bad news amidst the numerous mango complexities and the Crespo Organic specifics.

The good news is that we opened Empaque Don Jorge (El Originál), or EDJI for short. Situated in Rosario, Sinaloa, EDJI stands as our hometown packhouse and also holds the title of Latin America’s largest hyrdothermic mango packinghouse. With a processing capacity of up to a million pounds of mangoes per day at full throttle, it’s an impressive feat. While reaching peak packing capacity may well over a month, aligning perfectly with the larger Nayarit production, EDJI immediately broadens our packing horizons. This means we can truck in organic produce from our orchards in multiple states. It’s conveniently located within a day’s drive from the RCF Distributors’ Nogales and McAllen warehouses.  EDJI’s opening enhances our ability to balance supply and demand more seamlessly, particularly in terms of  the current sizing issues, managing product to both warehouses with agility and more reliable trucking since most the trucks are from our own fleet. The packhouse’s opening gives us instantly gives us better access to information for better decision making during these tough times. (I’ll delve into more details and strengths of EDJI in a subsequent post, but for now, I wanted to focus on the advantages of the early opening in terms of the challenges we face now.)

The unfortunate news this week revolves around our southern Chiapas packhouse, Empaque Don Jorge II (EDJII), which had to cease packing mangoes last week, approximately a month earlier than scheduled. Escalating cartel violence along the southern Mexican border prompted the USDA to withdraw their inspectors from Chiapas due to safety concerns. (It’s worth noting that every mango packhouse must have a USDA inspector present to oversee the APHIS approved method for controlling fruit fly infestations, known as the hot water treatment, crucial for exporting to the USA.) Without USDA certification, the product cannot be deemed fruit fly-free and therefore cannot be imported into the USA, leading to the immediate closure of EDJII.

A substantial quantity of organic mangoes is packed in this facility. The contingency plan involved transferring this packing operation to our other packhouses in Oaxaca and Sinaloa. However, this transition, along with reallocating conventional packing to other conventional packhouses in order to make room, has proven time-consuming and is still in progress. We anticipate reaching a more favorable position for maximum packing potential on organics by the end of next week. As one of the largest organic packers, this closure has significantly disrupted an already struggling organic system. The closure coincided with some gaps and lower yields on organics in general, further complicating the turnaround process.

General Overview (Organic Re-cap)
We and generally everyone is projecting more volume to start coming in the next 10 days but not enough to flood the markets. The fruit in Michoacan was/is delayed and has a lot less volume than last year, predominantly smaller sizing 10/12cnts (mostly 12’s). Very Little organic fruit will come from there. Chiapas, where a significant amount of our southern orchards are located, have always produced large volumes and good yields and this year their output is a great deal lower and we are not totally sure why.

Oaxaca which usually starts winding down in late April and has been very hard to predict and has had a lot of gapping until now. Currently everything indicates that the Oaxacan season will run rather well until the end of May.  The good news is this overlap of fruit between Nayarit and Oaxaca will prevent the usual late April- early may gaps and shortages from happening this year. Good for Cinco de Mayo sales.

Organic Ataulfo Outlook
Organic Ataulfos will continue to be small and innumerous until the arrival of Nayarit fruit in early May. Overall volume is lower, with a significant portion of the crops being size 20 and smaller. Despite market demands, the organic sector remains firm on size flexibility, contributing to ongoing shortages in terms of what the market wants versus what the trees produce. Pricing is anticipated to align with volumes and sizing, independent of movements in conventional markets. As for Nayarit’s upcoming season, sizing remains uncertain at this stage, volume is predicted decent with ample fruit set after blooming and plenty of good maturation happening.

Organic Round Mangoes (Tommy Atkins)
Organic round mangoes are faring better in terms of supply and demand compared to Ataulfos, primarily due to the organic sector’s preference for 8-9-10 sizing, with a decent demand for 12-count sizing as well. The southern Chiapas region, currently the main source of fruit, is yielding exactly that. While larger sizes, like 6-7 counts, are somewhat scarce, they do exist and are finding their way to select customers, including a few West Coast retailers and high-end processors. The generally smaller sizes are expected to persist for weeks to come, and Nayarit’s season is anticipated to commence in late May. Predicting sizing this early for Nayarit is challenging, but most forecasts suggest that Nayarit and Sinaloa will likely continue the trend of 8-10 sizing, which bodes well for the organic sector.

Summer Mango Mania (#MuchosMangoes)
The show must go on, and indeed it will. Summer Mango Mania is on schedule! Despite the challenges, there’s still plenty to offer, and we’re determined to transform those offerings into compelling and profitable opportunities for our distributors, retailers, and ultimately, our consumers. Summer season typically runs from June to August, with mango mania  dates spanning from June 15th to August 31st.

Our promotional materials will feature the usual array of bells and whistles, along with Crespo Organic’s signature  and popular mango-ed. This includes informative POP materials, recipe cards, consumer posters detailing how to choose, store, cut, and use mangoes, as well as varietal posters, including our Mango Queen specialty mango line, featuring our organic Mallikas, Nam Doc Mais, and Kiew Savoys dressed up in those opulent educational UPC’d tags for easy register ring up. Crespo  Organic Mango Bins will be readily available, accompanied by some flashy new secret display additives. Oh and of course the dried mangoes that everyone loves during mango mania! We are hearing words from merchandisers like Brian Dey (Merchandiser of the Year mind you) that there are BIG display plans that surpass last years!

We’re anticipating a general plentiful supply of mangoes, enabling retailers to offer attractive price points to shoppers.  We will fuel the mango frenzy  by conducting live demos and tastings and cooking classes in select areas, and ample virtual support for all, including  all kinds of events and Zoom classes on How to Cut Mangoes,  cooking classes like Summer Mango Salads and Mangoes- Bring Um to the BBQ. Consumers have grown to anticipate and love our summer mango promotion, and we’re confident it won’t disappoint. Keep an eye out for your POS order forms landing in your inbox next week, and remember, there’s always room for more to join in the summer fun. Reach out to us at info@crespoorganic.com if you’re interested! A tough season needn’t be a bad one with good partners!

 

Featured, People

David (OG) & Goliath (CV)

April 17, 2024

Who will protect organic growth amidst economic, climate and social uncertainties?

In the realm of organic produce, the ongoing struggle to safeguard organic growth often mirrors the tale of David and Goliath. This season, amidst economic, climate, and social uncertainties, the appeal of cheaper conventional products has never been stronger for importers, distributors, and retailers alike. Price remains a significant driver for consumer purchases, intensifying the pressure in my career more than ever before. Whether you share my passion for organics or view organics merely as another item on the shelf, the importance of protecting organic market share cannot be overstated.

I’ve experienced the weight of this David & Goliath struggle throughout my journey in the organic industry. However, in recent times, the intensity of this struggle feels magnified. It’s disheartening to witness substantial strides and achievements in organics being overshadowed by the allure of cheaper conventional produce. This shift undermines the integrity of our food systems, particularly concerning organic consumers who demand higher standards. The belief that conventional mangoes reign supreme in profitability is outdated and misguided. This misconception not only contradicts our trajectory but also carries greater consequences beyond profits alone. It’s evident to me that those who gamble against organics are destined to lose.

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Featured, News

A Little Crop Update

April 5, 2024

Ample tommy volume and little Ataulfo mangoes

Sometimes things move quickly despite how slow-moving they seem. I realized this morning that a quick crop report was warranted as crops shift in supply and size. I had intended to put out a more major crop report next week once I had more information that I had been collecting, but today as we solidify everything for next week, I’m realizing not everyone understands the changes – so here is a quick synopsis of the happenings in terms of organic Mexican mangoes with a Crespo-centric perspective.

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Culture, Featured, News, People

#CelebrateMexico #CelebrateMangoes

April 1, 2024

A Cinco de Mayo promotion that celebrates Mexico with mangoes

While Cinco de Mayo may not be a major holiday in Mexico, it has become a significant event in the USA, driving sales of Mexican produce items, including mangoes. We recognize the opportunity this presents for us.

Our #CelebrateMexico #CelebrateMangoes campaign not only excites and entices consumers with all things organic mango, but also educates on the beauty and culture of Mexico. It encourages a celebration of Mexican heritage, including its rich agricultural offerings. Through bold displays of Mexican organic fruits and vegetables, we aim to showcase the value of Mexico’s agricultural richness to consumers.

 

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Featured, Product

The Art of the Mango Display

March 19, 2024

How to prepare for #MuchosMangoes and create optimal shopper #mangojoy

It’s difficult to envision a scenario where #MuchosMangoes are priced just right and abundantly available consistently, particularly amidst this week’s lower Ataulfo volumes. Doubt exacerbated by season-to-date difficulties from Mexico and the lingering bad taste offshore programs have left.  But #MuchosMangoes are both here and on the horizon, and it’s crucial, perhaps more than ever, that we prepare ourselves accordingly.

We should see prices begin to gently lower, closer to “normal” (what even is normal anymore) as more conventional fruit comes on the market from other regions and countries. Conventional markets have a way of pressurizing the organic side of things and this will help move us all in the direction we want and need to go- selling more mangoes – which means better price points for consumers.

On the growing side, our responsibility is to ensure that our programs operate smoothly and maintain a consistent supply of high-quality mangoes, irrespective of weather and other challenges. Meanwhile, the role of the Crespo Organic Kitchen is to ensure that marketing tools and mango education are effectively implemented, guaranteeing consistent sales and delighted mango shoppers.

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