Schwartzhoff said C.H. Robinson doesn’t differentiate between larger and smaller growers regarding food safety standards, though more education is sometimes required for small growers.
Richter said Wilcox Fresh helps growers it works with become food safety certified.
Panelists said the appeal for local produce is not likely to dim.
Part of that demand is tied to higher flavor in local produce, Osowski said. Production that is closer to the consumer has the advantage of being harvested at a more mature stage than produce shipped in from California, he said.
“The whole local or Midwest grown concept really sells to the consumers,” Osowski said.