Strong economic signs - The Packer

Strong economic signs

03/14/2014 01:59:00 PM
The Packer Editorial Board

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.

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Mark Montague, analyst    
Portland, OR  |  March, 17, 2014 at 02:13 PM

The big concern continues to be California produce. This analyst sees south Texas strong, as well as south Florida from a volume standpoint. Winter pototatoes continue to ship in good quantity. Coastal California is shipping strawberries early and at high volumes. This activity, combined with winter storms effects in the Notheast quadrant has produced spot market refrigerated truckload rates about 24 cents per mile higher than one year ago. Yes, produce is strong. Book trucks as early as possible.

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