PRODUCE ALERT :Iceberg, romaine and romaine hearts have been impacted by the **INSV Virus and **Fusarium along with other viruses that have taken over the fields this past few months throughout the Salinas Valley.

What is happening:

Iceberg, romaine and romaine hearts have been impacted by the **INSV Virus and **Fusarium along with other viruses that have taken over the fields this past few months throughout the Salinas Valley.
These viruses are not allowing product to fully develop and in many cases, causing growers to discard entire fields. This means, harvesting at an extremely slow pace to minimize the risk as much as possible.
Each year, we transition growing regions from Salinas, CA to Yuma, AZ in November. During transition, we expect to see impacts to quality and anticipate supply gaps, but due to the viruses impacting these commodities the supply is more limited than usual.

What are these viruses:

What is INSV: INSV Virus is a plant virus that is passed from field to field by insects. INSV thrives on heat and therefore the warmer weather of the last few months in these growing regions is not helping the issue and it is fueled the virus to expand.
What is Fusarium: Fusarium is a soil borne fungus, which causes the lettuce heads to die from diseased roots.

What does this mean for the locations: We see issues in regards to availability and quality.

Supply – As distributors are picking up product from growers, orders are being prorated on average 50%. With these shorted orders, locations will experience shortages of product as ordered. All locations should anticipate during the next 4 – 6 weeks shorted product at time of delivery. The expectation is for all locations to receive at least one case of Chopped Romaine or Whole Head Romaine (if approved in your market) with each delivery if ordered. If your market will be shorted, we have requested for all distributors to provide communication of when this will occur and update when additional product is available.

Quality - During transition from the Salinas to Yuma growing regions, the market tends to see strains in the quality of all leafy greens including pinking and variations in color. Expectations during this transition period should be adjusted to meet the current market availability. Current credit request protocols will continue to be in place during this time. Please check product when it arrives and submit Support Requests within 24 hours of receiving to request a return and credit. Please note that quality received may be consistent for all deliveries at this time.

Pinking – rust coloration at ends and rib area. This is caused by oxidation at time of processing and not a sign of decay. See examples below.
Variations of Color – extremely light and dark variations.

Oct 24, 2022

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