Can you believe that we are ready for another transition? People are packing up homes, plans are made to haul equipment, and dates are set on orders to hopefully keep supply continuous throughout the disruption.
Everyone in the industry marks this time with a big red circle on their calendars, however Mother Nature ignores the memo on transition dates. For an even that requires planning long before the move, there are the wildcards such as weather and plantings that impact this time in varying degrees.
The impact can be described in terms of soft and hard. Softer transition depends on if the exiting and entering growing areas are still producing with the ideal case being both are producing so there is little interruption to orders, supply, or quality. If one area is not producing, due to crop or weather issues, then we start pushing towards a harder transition. That is when one or both regions are not producing and the hardest is that these wildcard factors create extensive disruption.
This scale may not be for every crop that is transitioning. There may be one commodity that will be a harder transition than the rest. As we advise our customers, we give a report on the overall scope of transition and alert to any outliers that may have a harder move than the others.
This is certainly a unique aspect of produce, this bi-yearly move to maintain year-round supply of fresh foods. Our teams have to plan ahead and also be able to be nimble because of the variables that can’t be planned for or controlled. Transition week is always circled bright red so that all hands are on deck, we’re communicating our best forecast of how soft or hard the move will be, and then responding when things pop up. It’s all about keeping the supply as uninterrupted as it can be, no matter what mother nature decides to throw at us.