Local produce faces tougher challenges than drones - The Packer

Local produce faces tougher challenges than drones

08/08/2014 11:50:00 AM
Chuck Robinson

Apio uses BreatheWay packaging technology, which is owned by Menlo Park, Calif.-based Landtec. Windset Farms, through its Apio partnership, uses the BreatheWay technology for packaged cucumbers and peppers.

Rod Midyett, CEO of Apio, said in a news release that “Apio is working with Windset on additional possible uses of BreatheWay packing for Windset products.”

That packaging technology is quite an advantage. It would be tough for start-up competitors to match it.

Also, even if long-term drought sidelines California production (and I have not yet seen it in the grocery stores here), it isn’t a cinch that local production can get in line fast enough.

There are other centralized production areas in Mexico and Leamington, Ontario, that are in line first. And larger operations are more likely to look to or set up other larger operations to fill gaps rather than keep tabs on a zillion local hubs.

There is another advantage, and it is tougher to put into words. I think there is a culture in the centralized production areas where everyone is aligned to the same goals and knows the basics of the industry. Associated industries are interrelated.

That seems like something that is more difficult to create in a far-flung network of smaller-scale producers. A national network might be able to get all of its parts to pull together, but it will be far more difficult.

crobinson@thepacker.com

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