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California Baja Tomatoes

Product from Mexico’s Baja California provides crucial consistency and quality to the category.

By Jodean Robbins

Though perhaps lesser known in the marketplace, Mexico’s Baja California region stands as an integral player in the tomato business. The most recent national tomato production report put out by Mexico´s Department of Agriculture (SAGARPA) in 2012, shows the Baja California region as the second largest producer of tomatoes in Mexico with a production of more than 296,000 tons — after Sinaloa´s production at one million tons.

“Tomatoes from Baja are extremely important,” says Jaime Chamberlain, president of J-C Distributing Inc. in Nogales, AZ. “Baja tomatoes represent a significant volume, especially for the West Coast of the U.S.”


Berry Good

A look at the double-digit rise of organic sales.

By Keith Loria

Organic food of all sorts has become increasingly popular over the last decade, especially when it comes to produce. Growing organic requires a combination of art and science, and a host of care, commitment and dedication.

Ever since 2002, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program was created to provide standards for all domestically produced and imported products that are labeled “organic,” organic berries in particular have seen a sharp increase in both production and sales.

Christine B. Christian, senior vice president for the California Strawberry Commission, says consumer demand for organic berries is expanding, as is demand for most organically grown fruits and vegetables.


A Dozen Ways to Grow Sweet Potato Sales

Examine a variety of methods used throughout the category to generate sales.

By Bob Johnson

More consumers view sweet potatoes as a nutritious and versatile staple to be enjoyed year-round, and not just for the holidays anymore.

Producers, meanwhile, are creating all-new products to make this classic favorite the convenient choice. The result is that sweet potatoes are on the rise, as sales increase at a pace that is unusual for a mature produce item.

Last year, 2013, the sweet potato category grew 11 percent in dollars and more than 7 percent in volume, according to FreshLook Marketing Group, a data anaylsis company using scanner-based information to provide sales statistics of perishable products, headquartered in Hoffman Estates, IL.


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