Healthy in many ways - The Packer

Healthy in many ways

10/19/2012 09:48:00 AM
The Packer Editorial Board

Consumers already know fresh fruits and vegetables are good for them to eat.

But a recent study from the United Fresh Produce Association and data from the Commerce Department show consumers how healthy fresh produce is for their personal budgets.

The United Fresh study showed production, employment and marketing data from all 50 states and was used by attendees of the group’s Washington Public Policy Conference earlier this month to gain influence with Senators’ and House Representatives’ staffs.

For instance, California produces $16.4 billion worth of fruits and vegetables and provides 518,000 full-time jobs in the produce supply chain in the state. Florida produces $3.5 billion worth of fruits and vegetables and provides 193,000 jobs.

All this revenue provides jobs and taxes, which should appeal to politicians and maybe spur some work in Congress on such issues as the farm bill, immigration and regulations, which are important to produce businesses.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department’s Consumer Price Index in September showed fruit and vegetable prices dropped 0.4% from August while overall food prices slightly rose.

Lower prices don’t always mean good business for everyone because there are many dynamics to buying and selling produce.

But good quality and values from fruits and vegetables grow consumption and take away an excuse for consumers reluctant to eat the way they know is the healthy way.

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