Wednesday, July 6, 2011

California Business New Updates

San Diego-based Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce focuses on finding tomato varieties with the best flavors, said Mark Munger, vice president of marketing.

When it finds good ones, it grafts them on to disease-resistant rootstock for better production. Andrew & Williamson has its own 6-acre grafting facility in San Quintin, Mexico, on the Baja California penninsula. It opened the facility two seasons ago, with some grafting occurring there, but this is the first season that 100% of its grafting is taking place in that facility, Munger said. Oxnard, Calif.-based Dearness Family Farms started harvesting tomatoes in Oxnard in July, but the volumes had yet to ramp up to normal as of Aug. 2.

Tomato quality looked good in early August for Oceanside Pole Tomato Sales Inc., Oceanside, California said Bill Wilber, president and director of marketing. Harvest got under way as usual, but late July brought cooler temperatures, which can slow production.

Cooler-than-normal temperatures with cloudy and foggy days in June and July slowed production, said David Cook, sales manager.

Volumes were expected to increase so that overall production would be similar to last year’s, but it likely will be more concentrated in the middle of the deal, from about mid-August to mid-October.

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