Randy Hooper - March 8, 2013
Category: Produce Update

This is one of those weeks when you just scratch your head and wish there were far more organic producers out there. We’ve hit the “echo gap”. Every time we have a major problem (like the mid-January freeze), there is an echo of the same shortages in the market about 2 months later. But here it is – super tight markets on celery, cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini etc. Oh, we have lots, but prices are up substantially on several of these. The fruit category looks pretty darn good, with excellent supply on apples, avocado, mango, the entire citrus category, pears and berries – yes, strawberries are pricy, but definitely available. We expect to see the end of D’Anjou pears in the next couple of weeks, with more southern fruit arriving. Quality is excellent. Chilean blues are winding down over the next few weeks, with California’s first picks scheduled to kick in 4 weeks out. The mainstays on the green veg side are in good supply – kale, chard, lettuce, broccoli and cauli - with production increasing in more northern California districts – also keeping prices seasonal. The problem areas are on the Mexican side, with a big hiccup on a wide range – we kind of warned you about this on our last list. Under-supply has driven prices very high on bell peppers and zucchini, with a slowly tightening market on tomatoes. Look for some continuing stunning quality on Nature’s Way product – including those hard to find items like cabbage, collards and spinach. Continuing good supply on all root crops – we’re not seeing any supply issues here, although table carrots will transition south over the next couple of weeks.

+Continue reading Weekend update+
Reiko Fujibayashi - March 6, 2013
Category: Hot Shots










Hey Y’all!

Check out our Fresh Picks today!

Beautiful produce awaits!
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Red Chard from Baja!

Fresh and vibrant!
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Great Bunched Carrots from Lakeside!

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Tender and sweet Asparagus from Double D Farms!

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Red Globe Grapes from Purity!

Super sweet!
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Our first delivery of William’s Green Bartletts from Purity!

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And finally, our first batch of true Valencias, 113ct from Purity!

So beautiful, crisp, full of juice and will only get better!

Give us a call, to ask us what’s fresh and fantastic!

Big Love,

Reiko Fujibayashi

truth. transparency. trust. relationships.

Discovery Organics

+Continue reading Fresh Picks on Wednesday+
Randy Hooper - March 6, 2013
Category: Produce Update

Thanks for your help plowing through our excess of 18 ct avocado! Pragor is a small coop, and harvest the specific weight of fruit needed for our orders. Under our Fair Trade contract, we simply get what is harvested – a nice range of sizes, but as we get farther into the season, and fruit continues to size up, we are receiving a higher volume of large fruit. This is a great year to promote avocados, with high volumes worldwide keeping the prices low, and to get your customers used to buying much bigger fruit! With no stonefruit in the picture, the fruit category has a few shining stars – blueberries are very promotable, Texas grapefruit is a seasonal treat not to be missed, and the grape deal out of Peru is awesome. We will have sold through the rest of our mango deal from the two coops we work with any day, and have product in from distributors to hold until we start in Mexico shortly. Loads of pears, with Argentina fruit hitting the market in force. You can expect prices to wander down as more containers start to land on the West Coast. Hail storms yesterday took out up to 30% of Argentina’s apples in the major Rio Negro production area, but most pears were off the trees before the storms hit. There isn’t any big news on the green veg front as prices continue to stabilize. With new plantings in Huron and Salinas start to emerge farther north, supply will even out even more, and we will see fewer gaps or price spikes. The news is more focused on root crops. We expect B.C. carrot supply, which has had an incredible run this year, to dwindle fairly soon. Potatoes are shifting to the East, but production was lower in Manitoba and P.E.I. this year, and a growing trend away from Russets to other varieties is showing up as a definite supply issue on reds and yellows. There are still some yellows available out of Oregon, but it will be a tight market for most spuds until new crop starts in California 10 weeks out.

+Continue reading Wednesday Produce Update+
Reiko Fujibayashi - March 3, 2013
Category: Hot Shots

Howdy Y’all!!

“And then came the SUN!!!!

The days got longer, and the nights weren’t as cold…”

From a book by Dad wrote and illustrated for me when I was 5…it’s all about dancing in the Sunshine.

That about sums it up!

The Sun is finally blasting us with it’s warm rays, and basement dwellers like Heather and I are blinking in shock!

It’s amazZINGG!!!

I had to take a photo as proof…for myself, as well as for all of you!!

Yay!!! Retire the gumboots!
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So much incredible fruit and veg in the coolers today….they are absolutely packed!

Let’s take a look at what we’ve discovered…

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Crispy Napa Cabbage from Lakeside in California!

One of my faves!
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That’s a word.

Well, I’m sure it will be in the Urban Dictionary before long!
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Brussel Sprouts from Lakeside!

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Sweet Broccolini from BOA!

Tender and sweet, this is great stuff!
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Italian Parsley from Nature’s Way!

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Herbco Herbs! So fresh and aromatic!

Rosemary, Dill, Thyme, Mint….the list goes on!
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Sunburst Squash from Del Cabo.

Lil’ burst of sunshine…I’m tempted to hang these up around the office!
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Fennel from Something Good.

Beautiful feathery fronds, lovely anise-like scent!
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Gorgeous Butter Lettuces from Lakeside.

Sure sign of Spring!
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+Continue reading Hot Shots - the "darn close to spring" edition!+
Randy Hooper - March 1, 2013
Category: Produce Update

What a difference a year makes. This day one year ago we had just received a container of mangos, with another set to arrive in early March. This year, the crop started early, volumes were strong, sales were huge, and the deal is done. We’ve sold an extraordinary amount this week, with no fruit anywhere else. We will just sneak through the gap until the first arrivals of Tommys from far south in Mexico. Ataulfos are starting to arrive in higher volumes as well, and quality is excellent. We really really need to sell lots of 18 count avocados next week, so have made some substantial price adjustments to help us all out – now cheaper by the piece than 24s! Avocados are the fastest growing fruit commodity out there – up 30% in just the last year in N. America – certainly something to think about when planning ads and promotions, and this is the year to do it with strong crops from all producing areas of the world keeping prices very reasonable. Final harvests from southern Chile are the hint that the southern blueberry deal will start to wind down soon – but the quality is certainly there, and pricing excellent. While all other berries are pricey, this is the one to promote. One trend we are seeing this year, with great potential, is the Peruvian grape program. Fast sailing times to the West Coast, and hundreds of new acres going into production every year, you just watch this category grow. Grapes have to be a certain size (10s) to get into the U.S. and Chilean growers are struggling every year to hit the mark, using growth hormones on conventional, with very few organic producers in the deal – another reason for the success of Peruvian producers. We are in the peak of the best citrus season we have seen in a long time. Lots of cold weather has spread out the harvest windows and produced some mind-boggling sugar. We’ve really focused on a handful of great grower-owned packers this year, with consistently great quality.

+Continue reading Last shot of Peru Kent mango with Peru grapes still running strong.+
Randy Hooper - February 27, 2013
Category: Produce Update

Very little change for you on the fruit front today – excellent apple supply, although a few line items of B.C. fruit have been replaced with Washington – a not-unusual trend this time of year. Our sales are dominated by the citrus, mango and avocado categories. The Texas Honeygold heirloom grapefruit have arrived – if you have room to squeeze on any new citrus variety, make room for this one. The strawberry market is beginning to ease with more consistent weather in the Oxnard and Santa Maria areas along the California coast. In fact, weather is one thing we don’t have to talk about today, with seasonal temperatures in all areas. Melon selection is very limited, but this will slowly open up in the next while as honeydews are sizing up in Baja. There are only 5 organic cantaloupe producers in Mexico who are licensed to sell into the U.S. and Canada, and most of those growers transplanted late because of the cold weather last month – none of them are in southern Baja where temperatures are much more moderate. Asparagus is now in good supply and we expect the market to drop shortly. Same situation with green beans, with a bumper crop starting to peak in Sinaloa, the prime production area just north of Mazatlan, so watch the price corrections starting today. Better World broccoli crowns continue to arrive as spectacular, with very promotional pricing! That incredible run of Nature’s Way celery carried us right through for 12 weeks without a break, just in time for celery prices to fall into the ‘reasonable’ price ranges as desert crops have now recovered and are shipping at full size. We’re having a little red chard party – seems there is a flush everywhere of this colour, with prices matching supply. The only big change on supply is spinach, with several shippers sold through, so prices are up sharply. Our squash story is all about butternut, with all other models virtually non-existent. Spaghetti squash is right around the corner though.

+Continue reading Time for some Honeygold Grapefruit+
Reiko Fujibayashi - February 24, 2013
Category: Hot Shots

Hi Y’all!

Hope you all are doing well…surviving (*and maybe enjoying?) all that fresh powder, if you’ve got it!

If you’re in Vancouver like us, you’re experiencing the rain (oh, interminable rain!) and those little bouts of sunshine that almost convince you it’s Spring!

The crocuses are blooming, the snowdrops are out, and I saw someone wearing sandals the other day (!!!)

Granted, they were wearing them with thick wooly socks…

Man, that’s embarrassing.

Or fashion forward.

Who’s to say?


The coolers are bursting…full of great things to eat!

Let’s take a look at what we’ve discovered…
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Green Dandelion from Something Good!

Wow, these are so beautiful, and totally target the Spring liver-cleansing crowd.

Add a little zing to your salads!
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Rainbow Chard from Sue Heger.


Large crisp leaves, full of flavour!

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English Peas from Del Cabo!

Nothing like a fresh-shucked pea…
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Add some fresh Mint and you’ve really got something special!

Fresh pea and mint soup…dreamy.

From Herbco, this Mint is so “Minty fresh!”

Whoa, that’s cheesy. But true!

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Gold Beets from Coke Farm in California.

Beets never fail to surprise me every time I slice into them, and they reveal their beautiful selves.

So much heart.
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These cause a lot of excitement.

Fractal inspired, designed by Nature!
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Roma Tomatoes from Limited Edition.

Ruby red!
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Melon Up! Watermelons from Mexico.

+Continue reading Any time is dandelion time.+
Randy Hooper - February 22, 2013
Category: Produce Update

Weather is now returning to what we used to call normal in most areas, with one hold-out. Just 6 hours drive north of Mazatlan, and 3 hours north of where “tropical” starts is Obregon, one of the largest production areas in Northern Mexico – peas, beans, tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini etc – well….the “normal” overnight low through the winter is 10C. There have now been 6 weeks of overnight temperatures ranging from -3C to 8C, not one night near normal. We continue to hear of crop losses in this area. Unfortunately, many field growers are in this district, which has driven the market for zucchini and cucumber up substantially. We will be just fine on zucchini, with a big harvest underway at our Los Mochis location, farther south, and we’re sitting pretty on cukes as well. OriginO English cukes are now in strong supply, and prices dropping quickly to match volume. Now’s a great time to feature avocado – sales are brisk, turns are quick, sizing is all good, and if you’re not selling bagged fruit, give it a try! Every few years SouthTex has enough of the amazing Heirloom Honeygold grapefruit to let us have some. These are incredible, and well worth us sending a truck to Texas to pick them up, as well as another shot of Red Riostars. The rest of the citrus category looks stellar. We have a nice range of pears, with the expectation of the first Argentina Bartletts arriving shortly. Berry pricing is a mess, with three consecutive frost / rain events hampering harvests, and cold temperatures stalling raspberries. We have product – it’s just going to stay pricey until spring returns. Raspberries are grown under plastic hoops in California so rain isn’t an issue, but a few sunny days would really help. We continue to see rocking sales on green beans, and should see the first of our own BOA brand arriving in a week or so. In fact, expect to see quite a bit of product starting to stream in from all our custom farming projects – just look for the BOA brand on the lists.

+Continue reading Honeygold grapefruit from South Tex will be here soon+
Reiko Fujibayashi - February 20, 2013
Category: Hot Shots



Hi All,

Check out our Fresh Picks today (think mini Hot Shots)!

We’re going to try to buzz through our coolers mid-week, to get pics of what’s fresh and fab!
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Green Cabbage from Nature’s Way!

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And their Red Cabbage!

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Beautiful BC Long English Cukes!

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Scarlet Turnips from Riverdog Farm!

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Red, Yellow and Orange Bell Peppers from Signature!

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Great mangos right now!

A variety of counts, and Fairtrade available!

Give us a call to talk Produce!!

Big Love,

Reiko Fujibayashi

truth. transparency. trust. relationships.

Discovery Organics

+Continue reading Fresh Picks!+
Randy Hooper - February 20, 2013
Category: Produce Update

We don’t have much to complain about this week – how can you complain when we have 22 apple varieties in-house late in February. We had full expectation of a very tight market this spring after so many crop failures in other parts of the world, but things are looking pretty good at this point. The avocado market continues to drop, but prices are still a bit over the Fairtrade price, so we can continue to be competitive while honouring our contracts. There is a very large volume of California and Mexican fruit, and a large Peruvian and Chilean crop expected over the next few months. A rather stunning selection of citrus continues to dominate fruit sales. We know there are too many varieties to stock, as tempting as some of the specialties may be. Hope you’re enjoying these mangos were sending out – the last two containers have been top notch. We have volume pricing available, as always – and continue to trigger ripening on what we’re sending out. The Mexican season has just started, with the first (and expensive) Ataulfos shipping out of Oaxaca and Chiapas. A large Mexican crop is expected this year on Tommy and Kent, which will keep prices fairly stable through the season. The green veg market continues to be choppy. The January freeze is well behind us, but daytime temperatures have struggled to hit traditional levels, keeping production tighter than market demand. We’ve had a couple of nights of light frost in some areas last week, which gives soil little chance of warming up during the day. The cold also spread south down the coast last weekend, including frost in Obregon, which affected some ground-croppers, especially on field cukes and zucchini. There has also been nearly unspeakable frost in southern Baja on the weekend, which has dampened pea production. Speaking of cukes – Origino now has strong production so we’re not expecting to see much need to list Mexican.

+Continue reading OriginO Long English cucumbers are looking great!+