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Bernardi optimistic for spring

By
Tad Thompson

“I am, over the next couple of months, optimistic” about the Mexican tomato deal, Joe Bernardi indicated in late January.

bernardi
Joe Bernardi,
president, Bernardi
& Associates Inc.

Bernardi, the president of Bernardi & Associates Inc., noted that “going into the spring, there is a lot of pent-up energy in this country. People want to get out and about. Overall, people want to be dining in restaurants, or barbequing. They want to be outside.  I think we will see a rebound” after a year-long coronavirus pandemic.

This would tie-in nicely with the Mexican tomato deal, which will have a good supply in March.

“Through December and January, growers had near-perfect weather,” Bernardi said. “In February and March there will be ample supplies.” These will primarily come from Mexico, but Florida growers and production in other areas will also contribute to springtime tomato volumes.

Bernardi & Associates is based in Nogales, but also has brokerage offices in four other U.S. locations. These are San Diego, which handles Baja produce nine months a year, as well as product grown in San Diego County, CA. A Turlock, CA, office sells produce grown from Bakersfield to Lodi in the Central Valley. Bernardi also has offices in McAllen, TX, and Ft. Myers, FL.

Reviewing West Mexico’s fall tomato production, Bernardi said there were early shorts after a later-than-normal start. Then there were good volumes bringing large-sized round and Roma tomatoes.

“Heat at the end of November pushed everything into the same cycle,” Bernardi said. “Since then, there was great weather.”

He continued, “I hope as restaurants are able to open around the country you will see foodservice sales pick up. I hope as we go out of the winter and into the spring, there will be a rebound in the foodservice sector.”

Bernardi added, “I think it has been a tough year for everyone in all aspects of the industry — especially, foodservice. I am hopeful that with the vaccine and getting a handle on the whole pandemic, we can get back to normal. Prior to this, the whole restaurant economy was doing very well. The sooner it comes back, the better.

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