National Editor Tom Karst All is quiet on the United PMA merger front, but someone told me that the two boards are still expected to vote June 4 somewhere in California.
I have a couple of links from the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group to share on the topic. One is the discussion thread about the merger, which you can find here.
Another is a poll question I just rolled out a couple of days on the FPIDG, with the question that nobody really wants to answer.
The beauty of these polls is that you must vote to see the results of the poll. I won't give you an inkling, but one of the multiple choice answers is drawing a strong majority of support from members so far.
In other news around the nation today,the USDA's farm labor report shows that 575,000 workers were directly on farms in mid-January, down 5% year ago. The average wage was $11.52 per hour, up about 2% from year-ago levels.
The Census Bureau released a widely noted report that was something of a watershed moment in our country's demographic makeup. And produce marketers should play close attention.
The CB reported 50.4% of the U.S. population under one year old were minorities as of July 2011. That's up from 49.5% in April 2010.
Taking the population as a whole, the Census Bureau said 36.6% of the population is represented by minorities, compared with 36.1% in 2010. Five states had populations represented by "majority minority" populations, including Hawaii (77.1%) the District of Columbia (64.7%), California (60.3%), New Mexico (59.8%) and Texas (55.2%).
The Hispanic share of the U.S. population rose from 16.3% in 2010 to 16.7% in 2001, making Hispanics the fastest growing minority group.
And by the way, we're getting old. The average median age rose from 37.2 years in 2010 to 37.3% in 2011. Those 65- and older increased 40.3 million in 2010 to 41.4 million in 2011.
And the young adult population is under heavy financial pressure, a new report states.This coverage by Mybanktracker soberly observes that one in four of Gen Y(also Millennial, 18-34) don't have cash to cover basic necessities.
That means, we can safely presume, a lot of produce is going unsold and uneaten in favor of toilet paper, Natty Light and peanut butter.
Should produce try to co-opt meat for the "macho" image? I would like to see an advertising agency go to work on that premise after reading this story about how meat still easily retains its appeal as the "macho" food among males. A tall challenge, true, but perhaps worth the effort. What are the macho "veggies and fruits"?