Seeded Produce overcoming challenges posed by weather, economy
While Seeded Produce provides a full complement of Mexican produce, its melon crops are a shining star of the lineup.
“Our line of melons consists of honeydews, cantaloupes, Hami melons, mini-watermelons and seedless watermelons, which are available from October through May, depending on the variety,” said Omar Losolla, managing member of Seeded Produce, based in Nogales, AZ.
Losolla said an abundance of rain during the fall resulted in fruit that was larger in size than normal, owing to the excess nitrogen in the soil.
“But our overall quality has been excellent this year,” he said.
Still, despite offering high-quality fruit, Losolla said that many of the challenges that Seeded faced during the Covid pandemic remain in place.
“Even though the Covid pandemic has officially been declared as ‘over,’ we are still dealing with some other economic factors, such as inflation, that have raised the prices at retail level for consumers,” said Losolla. “At this point in time, it probably is a luxury to be able to eat a fresh specialty melon.”
Additionally, he said the costs of growing the crops have continued to go up, making it even more challenging for Seeded’s growers.
“Things are becoming a lot more complicated for our growers,” he said.
“All of their growing costs have increased, and labor and security are also major issues they are now facing. Our growers don’t have a magic wand, but their experience and grit will help them and us move forward despite these challenging times.”
Aside from melons, Seeded offers a variety of vegetable items such as summer squash, winter squash, eggplants, colored bell peppers, sweet corn and cucumbers, with some of these items taking a hit from the recent cold spells south of the border.
“We have had some issues recently with our cucumber and winter squash crops due to the colder temperatures we have experienced this season so far,” he said, adding that any gaps in supply should be resolved with the warmer weather that is on the horizon.