Ontario green asparagus season to start May 5 by FreshPlaza

Ontario green asparagus season to start May 5

Ontario experienced a light winter with warmer than usual weather. « These are uncommon conditions, » says Carmen Bartucci with Canam Fresh. However, it results in a good outlook for both asparagus supply and quality this upcoming season. Harvest in Ontario’s Simcoe area will kick off May 5 and the season is expected to end July 20th.

Out of Canam Fresh’s total supply, about 35 percent will stay in the Canadian market and will be sold to all major retailers in Ontario. « This season, we are planning on a 10 percent increase in consumption, » Bartucci shared. This increase will be driven by retail promotions as well as cost of goods. « Many fresh produce items have experienced significant price increases at retail level, but asparagus has remained relatively affordable. It will be in the realm of cauliflower, broccoli, sprouts, and green beans. » Initially, price increases caused a shock at retail. However, consumers have increasingly accepted, and the expectation is for asparagus sales to go up.

The remaining 65 percent of production will go to the United States, a large consumer of green asparagus. « Ontario has a good window of supply. While we overlap with Michigan, we start up after New Jersey and Washington. » As a result, Ontario typically sees strong interest from the U.S. during its asparagus season.

Purple asparagus
About one percent of the company’s asparagus program is made up of purple asparagus. It’s very much a specialty, high-end product that is double the price of green asparagus. « The flavor is phenomenal, and its distinct color makes purple asparagus very appealing to restaurants and hotels, » Bartucci shared. Therefore, it’s predominantly sold to foodservice. Since the diameter of purple asparagus is a bit bigger than green asparagus, it takes longer for the product to grow and mature. As a result, the season is expected to start May 12. Just like its green counterpart, harvest will finish July 20th.

For more information:
Carmen Bartucci
Canam Fresh