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Marolda hoping for a good fall season

vineland, nj — “There’s a lot of competition in the market, and stuff is just not moving the way it should,” Richard Marolda Jr. of Marolda Farms told The Produce News Tuesday, Aug. 14. “Prices are not strong.”

Marolda5708 That was Marolda’s view on New Jersey’s season to date, and he offered an example. “Sicilian eggplant usually starts strong, but this year the price was half of what it usually was — if you could sell them. Right now locally in Vineland they’re $5-6 a box; last year they were $8-10.”

Marolda said he was seeing “more competition than ever from Canada and Mexico,” adding, “It seems like California is really back into the game now that their drought situation has been lessened.”

Marolda Farms, located here in the southern part of the state, is owned and operated by Richard Marolda Sr. and his wife, Sherry. Their son, Richard Marolda Jr., is the production manager and also handles the company’s organic program; those products are shipped under the “Rock & Roll Organics” label.

Looking ahead to New Jersey’s fall produce season, Marolda said, “We’ll have our early fall pepper crops in September. Going into the [main part of the] fall season, we’ll have collards and kale, mustard and turnip greens,” as well as cilantro and parsley. “I don’t have as much confidence in spinach and beets for the fall. The pricing and demand don’t seem to be what they used to be” on those two items.

He concluded, “I hope the fall season is better than the rest of the year has been. At the end of the fall and winter, I’ll be looking at some options,” perhaps “expanding the line or looking at the customer base — something to address the challenges we face.”