It’s a rare week that we don’t cover a merger, acquisition or significant business expansion in the produce industry.

This is just another indicator that the economy is improving. Standing still is getting tougher to justify in business terms.

In March alone we’ve seen:

  • Chiquita buys Fyffes, making it the world’s largest banana company;
  • Del Monte buys more Florida farmland, signaling its expansion of its tomato program;
  • Coosemans buys Consumers Produce Co. of Pittsburgh; and
  • Albertsons parent company buys Safeway;

A United FreshFacts on Retail sales also shows positive economic signs.

It showed fresh produce sales were up 4.8% in 2013, with organic produce posting sales gains of nearly 20%. In addition, value-added vegetables posted a year-over-year gain of 15% in weekly dollar sales, and fresh-cut fruit sales increased 13.2%.

These are not the comfort food purchases of consumers who are suffering economically.

It’s not even technically spring yet, and economic activity is certainly heating up.

Did The Packer get it right? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.