Shortage of Collard Greens for the Christmas Holiday

Oxnard, CA– Growers of dark leafy greens around the country have been impacted by various weather issues this year which has resulted in a shortage of collard greens for the Christmas holiday. San Miguel Produce, Inc., a grower and one of the nation’s largest fresh-cut processors of collard greens, is affected. Poor weather conditions and national disasters have contributed to the shortage nationwide.

Regions around the country have been affected by different conditions, but all have resulted in reduced crop yields. Hurricane Florence, persistent rain and little sun have affected the Southeast including South Carolina and some of Georgia.  Strong Santa Ana winds and wild fires in the West created lower yields also due to the winds scarring and taring leaves.  Texas has also had significant rains that have reduced its yields.  

These weather challenges resulted in growers entering fields earlier than desired to harvest and meet the demand for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“This is only the second time in two decades we have seen a major national shortage like this.  Most times shortages are regional and there are options to work with colleagues around the country to help fill gaps,” said Jan Berk, Owner and COO of San Miguel Produce. “Unfortunately, we have called other growers the past few weeks hoping someone might have extra or recovered sooner than expected…only to hear they are short too and looking to source collards.”

For several weeks growers have been pushing crops with additional fertilizer in an effort to enhance growth for the increased Christmas demand. However, as the rush begins for this season and weather conditions remain unfavorable across the country, there is still concern about availability to meet demand. It is peak season for the dark leafy greens category and many growers have invested in plantings/crops for many months to prepare for this seasons harvest.

Traditionally, collard greens are in high demand this time of year for many holiday dishes.  We encourage retailers to educate consumers about the possible shortage of collard greens in their stores and to help educate consumers on the various dark leafy greens they can substitute in place of collards such as kale, chard, mustard greens and turnip greens.

About San Miguel Produce, Inc.

San Miguel Produce, Inc. is a 4th generation family farm focused on growing and processing nutrient-dense greens under brands: San Miguel Produce, Cut ‘N Clean Greens and Jade, Asian Greens.  Since 1976, San Miguel has been farming on the coastal plains of Oxnard, CA and throughout Ventura County. With a focus on convenience, San Miguel’s goal is to provide consumers with an easy way to consume greens more often.