Ten reasons for pursuing a fresh produce career - The Packer

Ten reasons for pursuing a fresh produce career

04/18/2014 09:33:00 AM
Dan'l Mackey Almy

DanDan'l Mackey Almy, DMA SolutionsAs we begin our 10th year in business at DMA Solutions, we’ve proven to others and ourselves that “time flies when you are having fun.”

We have been on an amazing journey, and we are just hitting our stride as a company (and certainly as an industry) in many respects.

As my role at DMA Solutions and within the fresh produce industry evolves, my path into fresh produce as a career and why our company exclusively serves this amazing industry remain popular topics for discussion.

My passion and appreciation for what we do each day grows every time I share my story.

The truth is, a career in fresh produce is far more than a job. It is a calling, a path and a passion. It rarely takes newcomers to our industry long to see that their work in fresh produce has a more meaningful purpose.

I feel affirmed and confident that there is no better industry on the planet to work in, and here are 10 reasons why.

1. The Result.

Food that is grown is the core of our industry.

Whatever your role, knowing that your daily contribution helps put fresh fruits and vegetables in the hands of people around the world is matchless in other “widget-selling” industries.

In fresh produce, we have the opportunity to do good for someone every day.

2. The People.

Since my first day on the job, I have been uplifted by the intelligence, tenacity, dedication and genuine passion that people in this industry have for its success.

I have made lifelong connections and friendships through this industry that are worth their weight in gold, and I believe many of my colleagues are able to say the same.

3. The Opportunities.

Within in our industry, we appreciate and reward guts, attitude, effort and longevity. If one industry champions these, it is fresh produce — your career mobility is in your hands.

4. The Resiliency.

To survive and thrive in a perishable world, you must be resilient. Even during perilous economic times, our industry demonstrated resiliency in astounding ways.

While no industry or company is recession-proof, the fresh produce industry is, undoubtedly, recession-resilient. People continue to eat, regardless of economic status.

5. The Giving.

Generosity is native in the DNA of people serving the fresh produce industry.

Whether we are supporting a cause on a local or national level, giving back is a common practice here.

6. The Approachability.

Considering fresh produce is a multi-billion dollar industry, you might think we have few opportunities to engage leading executives in our industry.

In fact, quite the opposite is true.

From day one in my career, decision-makers from companies across the industry were happy to speak to me — all I had to do was ask.

7. The Thrill.

Mother Nature can be unpredictable, but in many ways “she” is an attractive aspect of working in the fresh produce industry.

Elements of excitement and uncertainty come with every new season — every year, each crop brings its own personality and bag of tricks, defining us as growers, distributors and service providers.

8. The Relationships.

Perishability demands trust, and trust is built on relationships.

While I have seen buyer-seller relationships change and evolve tremendously over the years, the fact remains that these relationships are an important and valued part of doing business in this industry.

9. The Timing.

In the past 50-plus years, fresh produce has never been more ripe for discussion. In the U.S., we are facing an obesity epidemic induced by a society dependent on processed foods.

This is a crucial time for our industry to actively and positively affect our country’s eating habits together, in order to increase access and promote fresh produce.

10. The Pride.

This one is simple. Walk through a strawberry field or an apple orchard, and you will feel the pride that goes into bringing these beautiful products to life (literally).

We grow and provide the healthiest, most beautiful food to billions of people every day, and that is something to be proud of.

Dan’l Mackey Almy is president and owner of Irving, Texas-based DMA Solutions. A version of this first appeared on DMA's blog The Core.

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