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New Online Look For Weis-Buy!

If you frequent the website of Weis-Buy Farms, Inc., then I'm sure you've noticed the sudden upgrade in our 'look'! And - drumroll please... - the website works on mobile devices, too! Try it out for yourself!

we also have new content!

Throughout the site you will notice an abundance of new photos, all of which were taken at our various Weis-Buy farms, greenhouses and farms, by our salesman Michael Shapiro.

No stock photos here - these photos of fresh, great produce were taken at our farms!

Additionally, you can now find information about 'Dominican Republic Produce' and 'Tomatoes' on our website if you take a closer look inside Weisbuy. See photos and more, all about our processes and growing locations.

You will still be able to see our 'Produce Charts,' and the 'At a Glance' chart in our menu under 'Availability.' You can also find our weekly 'Word To The Wise' produce chart, as well.

A big thank you to our web designer Geena Matuson for the new look and the new features!

 

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Fall Florida Tomato Volume Running Light

Weis-Buy Farms Inc. is part of the article 'Fall Florida Tomato Volume Running Light', written by Doug Ohlemeier, published by The Packer November 12, 2014.

Florida’s fall tomato season is producing smaller-than-normal supplies and buyers shouldn’t expect bigger volumes to begin until around Thanksgiving.

Palmetto-Ruskin production is running lighter than normal and south Florida’s harvesting in Immokalee is also late, said Chuck Weisinger, president and chief executive officer of Fort Myers-based Weis-Buy Farms Inc.

Buyers shouldn’t expect Florida volume to start until late November with promotable volume expected to begin in early December, he said Nov. 11.

“Prices are high, product is not overabundant and demand is flat,” Weisinger said. “There just hasn’t been a lot of product. Some of the guys have had fair volume but no normal volume this year. We have no crops and there’s no demand. I’m not sure what people are doing, buying clothes or stocks but they sure aren’t beating the doors down for tomatoes.”

Immokalee Produce Shippers Inc., ran its first load on Nov. 10 and in Palmetto, Pacific Tomato Growers Ltd., Taylor & Fulton Packing LLC, and West Coast Tomato Inc., ran a smattering of volume, he said.

Packing was also limited at the Homestead-based DiMare Co.’s Ruskin packinghouse, said Tony DiMare, vice president.

Chuck Weisinger of Weis-Buy Farms Inc.

Chuck Weisinger of Weis-Buy Farms Inc.

In early and mid-November, DiMare was in promotable volume on grapes and planned to begin volume on mature greens in mid- to late November after beginning harvesting light volumes in late October, he said.

Quality remains high but the deal started slowly, DiMare said.

“Volume continues to be light,” DiMare said Nov. 11. “Volume this week in Florida is lighter than the week before. Several shippers didn’t pack yesterday, including ourselves, and some today again were not packing. Volume is picking up a little more and will steadily increase as each week goes by.”

Coming off high f.o.b. and retail prices, mature green prices in mid-November had started to decline, DiMare said.

In mid-November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported these prices for 25-pound cartons of loose mature greens 85% U.S. 1 or better from central and south Florida: $19.95 for 5x6s, $18.95 for 6x6s and $16.95-18.95 for 6x7s with No. 2s selling for $17.95-18.95 for 5x6s, $16.95-17.95 for the 6x6s and $15.95-17.95 for the 6x7s.

In mid-November last year, the USDA reported these prices from central and south Florida: $15.95-16.95 for 5x6s, $13.95-14.95 for 6x6s and $11.95-12.95 for 6x7s with No. 2s selling for $13.95-14.95 for 5x6s, $11.95-12.95 for the 6x6s and $10.95 for the 6x7s.

On Nov. 10, the USDA also reported 603 40,000 pound units of central Florida mature greens being shipped through Nov. 9 compared to 674 40,000 pound units shipped to date the previous season.

West Coast Tomato began harvesting mature greens and romas on Oct. 21, about a week earlier than normal, said Bob Spencer, vice president and sales manager.

Spencer said the weather is now more favorable for tomato production.

“We may have had a little higher production last year at this point, but we didn’t have anywhere near the market, which is 10-30% above normal for this time in the fall,” he said in mid-November. “It’s definitely been a good fall so far and we should have pretty decent production from here on out.”

For cherry tomatoes from central Florida, the USDA in mid-November reported $11.95-13.95 for flats of 12 1-pint baskets, higher than last year in mid-November when those flats sold for $10.95-11.95.

On central Florida grape tomatoes, flats of 12 1-pint containers with lids in mid-November marketed for $9.95-11.95 while 20-pound cartons of loose grapes sold for $18.95-21.95.

Last year, the flats sold for $9.95-11.95 while the cartons fetched $19.95-21.95.

For romas, the USDA in mid-November reported 25-pound loose cartons of extra large from Florida selling for $22.95-23.95 with large going for $21.95-22.95 and mediums at $20.95-21.95.

Last year in mid-November, the USDA reported $14.95-15.95 for extra large.

In mid-November, DiMare had finished harvesting rounds in California after most other shippers had finished, DiMare said.

Weis-Buy Farms Inc. is part of the article 'Fall Florida Tomato Volume Running Light', written by Doug Ohlemeier, published by The Packer November 12, 2014.

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Weis-Buy Triples Offshore Greenhouse Pepper Shipments

Weis-Buy Farms Inc. is part of the article 'Weis-Buy Triples Offshore Greenhouse Pepper Shipments', written by Doug Ohlemeier, published by The Packer, October 13, 2014.

Weis-Buy Farms Inc., is expanding its Dominican Republic greenhouse pepper deal.

Weis-Buy Farms Inc. is expanding its Dominican Republic greenhouse pepper deal. The marketer and growers’ agent has tripled the number of loads of colored bell peppers it ships from the Caribbean country.

Weis-Buy Farms Inc. is expanding its Dominican Republic greenhouse pepper deal. The marketer and growers’ agent has tripled the number of loads of colored bell peppers it ships from the Caribbean country.

Over the past year, the Fort Myers, Fla.-based marketer and growers’ agent has tripled the number of loads of colored bell peppers it ships from the Caribbean country.

For this season, it plans to load up to 10 trailers a week of red, yellow and orange peppers, compared to the three trailers a week it shipped last year, said Chuck Weisinger, president and chief executive officer.

This winter will be the fourth year Weis-Buy plans to ship product from Dominican Republic greenhouse growers which grow and ship from 494 acres of production and packing facilities in Constanza and Ocoa, Dominican Republic.

Weis-Buy receives the containers at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for assembling and shipment for straight and less than load orders from Pompano Beach, Fla., Weisinger said.

Though the company could import from other northeastern U.S. ports, handling the product at the Florida port provides Weis-Buy more control over quality, he said.

Weis-Buy Farms is growing more bell pepper in its Dominican Republic greenhouses.

Weis-Buy Farms is growing more bell pepper in its Dominican Republic greenhouses.

The Dominican Republic growers also grow greenhouse miniature cucumbers, cubanelle peppers and vine-ripe tomatoes.

This winter, Weisinger said he plans to offer the small cucumbers six to a pack and said the offering that would work well in children’s school lunch boxes.

Because the greenhouses are on mountains up to 4,000 feet above sea level, the moderate temperatures allow year-round production, said Michael Shapiro, salesman.

The less expensive sturdy plastic greenhouses keep costs low, he said.

As an experiment, Shapiro said he recently shipped two pallets of peppers shipped from shipped from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to Florida, then trucked them to Philadelphia for loading on a container for shipment to Puerto Rico.

Shapiro said the quality remained high through the longer transit.

“We are receiving good quality from the boats coming in,” Weisinger said. “The markets are competitive but we are anxious to compete with product from Holland and other places.”

Weis-Buy also ships organic greenhouse vegetables and Weisinger said retail use of the product has doubled since 2012.

The greenhouse production is certified by Primus Labs in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Founded in 1991, Weis-Buy ships a full line of vegetables, tomatoes and melons to wholesalers serving retail and foodservice customers throughout the U.S.

The article 'Weis-Buy Triples Offshore Greenhouse Pepper Shipments', written by Doug Ohlemeier, originally published by The Packer, October 13, 2014.

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Tomato Prices Expected To Rise After Summer Glut

Weis-Buy Farms Inc. is part of the article 'Tomato Prices Expected To Rise After Summer Glut' written by Andy Nelson, published by The Packer, September 10, 2014.

Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture tomato shippers look forward to stronger demand following a glut of regional summer production. Long-sluggish markets were overdue for a change, Chuck Weisinger, president and chief executive officer of Fort Myers-based Weis-Buy Farms Inc., said Sept. 8. “They’ve been cheap for so long, I’m optimistic about them going up.” That had already started to happen with Mexican romas, Weisinger said, with markets jumping from $8 per box in August to $17 in September. “There was finally a little rain in Mexico. There hasn’t been very much bad weather around.”

Rain elsewhere would likely put a dent in other tomato supplies, Weisinger said. “It will eventually rain on the California coast. It always does.” Also, as backyard garden harvests started to decline, more U.S. consumers began returning to the supermarket for their tomatoes, Weisinger said. “We’ve seen a little bit more movement this week than last week. We should see much better demand a week from now.”

On Sept. 9, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a price of $5.95 for 25-pound cartons of medium, large and extra-large mature greens from California, down from $9.95-13.95 last year at the same time.

Production in Quincy, Florida, would likely begin about the week of Sept. 22, Weisinger said. Gary Margolis, president of Gem Tomato & Vegetable Sales Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., agreed with Weisinger that markets had little choice but to go up. “Prices can only go one way. This is one of the worst marketing environments in my 30 years in the business.”

About the only part of the U.S. that didn’t enjoy excellent growing weather and, in some cases, record yields this summer was the Benton Harbor, Mich., crop marketed by Gem, Margolis said. Battling wet spring growing conditions isn’t something he’d wish on anyone, but with the glut of product nationwide this summer, it was a silver lining, Margolis said. “We had erratic production and far lower yields in Benton Harbor, and the reality is, it was a blessing because there’s been such an overabundance of tomatoes.”

Even in California, which is battling severe drought, tomato production has been robust, Margolis said, though he agreed with Weisinger that markets would strengthen as regional domestic deals started to wind down in September.

Weis-Buy Farms Inc. is part of the article 'Tomato Prices Expected To Rise After Summer Glut' written by Andy Nelson, originally published by The Packer, September 10, 2014.

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Tomato Prices To Stay High

Weis-Buy Farms Inc. and CEO Chuck Weisinger are part of the article 'Tomato Prices To Stay High', written by Andy Nelson, published by The Packer, June 18, 2014.

Tomato prices could stay high through June, says Chuck Weisinger, president and chief executive officer of Fort Myers, Fla.-based Weis-Buy Farms Inc.Tomato markets will likely stay hot until California and East Coast production ramps up.

“Demand right now is phenomenal,” Weisinger said June 16. “Florida is extremely short and the quality out of Mexico is just fair. It’s been very hot in Culiacan. We’ve been careful what we load.”
Tomato prices could stay high through June, said Chuck Weisinger, president and chief executive officer of Fort Myers, Fla.-based Weis-Buy Farms Inc.

Tomato prices could stay high through June, said Chuck Weisinger, president and chief executive officer of Fort Myers, Fla.-based Weis-Buy Farms Inc.

On June 17, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a price of $13.95 for 25-pound cartons of medium, large and extra-large tomatoes from California, up from $5.95-7.95 last year at the same time.

Mature green 5x6 cartons from Florida were $15.95, up from $10.95-11.95.

Quality Mexican romas have been more plentiful than vine-ripes, and some buyers have begun accepting romas in lieu of vine-ripes, Weisinger said.

Homestead, Fla.-based DiMare Co. finished its Florida season June 16, said Tony DiMare, the company’s vice president.

DiMare Co. wrapped up its Coachella Valley, Calif., deal in early June and began shipping from the state’s Central Valley the week of June 9, DiMare said.

Even with deals in Quincy, Fla., South Carolina and Arkansas starting by mid-June, tomato markets will likely stay tight into July, DiMare said.

“Demand has remained pretty good, and supplies all over, particularly in the East, are light.”

Eastern production may not put a dent in prices until New Jersey, Ohio and other Eastern homegrown deals ramp up in late July or early August, DiMare said.

Production in Virginia should begin about July 1 with grapes and cherries, with rounds and romas following July 4-9, slightly later than normal, said Butch Nottingham, marketing representative with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Nottingham reported good growing weather and said growers look forward to brisk movement of a high-quality crop.

Acreage in Virginia dropped significantly when Mulberry, Fla.-based East Coast Brokers and Packers Inc. stopped growing in the state, Nottingham said.

But with Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., Coral Gables, Fla., growing tomatoes in Virginia in 2014, acreage is up over last year, he said.

About 2,400 acres of tomatoes were harvested in Virginia in 2013, down from 3,100 in 2012 and 4,600 in 2011, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

In the West, Central Valley production should begin to ramp up by mid-July, DiMare said.

By mid-June, the Ruskin/Palmetto Florida deals had wound down and production in Quincy, Fla., and Beaufort, S.C., was just getting started, Weisinger said.

And some growers in those areas did not expect bumper crops, he said.

On the West Coast, California production also was just getting going in mid-July, with one grower starting production the week of June 9 and “a handful” more June 16, Weisinger said.

Until Arkansas and other local deals ramp up, it will be a seller’s market, Weisinger said.

The article 'Tomato Prices To Stay High', written by Andy Nelson, originally published by The Packer, June 18, 2014.

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