National Editor Tom Karst 1:43 p.m. Checking the fresh produce headlines today, Chiquita's license deal with Charlotte, N.C.-based International Fruit Company is one way to keep the brand in front of more folks without risk of loss. It is worth the try. In the words of Carly Simon, “And if that better way ain’t so, I’ll ride with the tide and go with the flow.”
1:45 p.m. The Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group had a good weekend of discussions and new comments. At 6,220 members, the group is the leading “fresh produce” group on LinkedIn.
Check out this intriguing commentary on FDA form 483.
More votes and comments on the thread, “What is holding back produce demand? "
Check out this thoughtful comment from one member:
"Take some time to go to a farmers market and listen to what the "consumer" is asking and saying.
The industry bred produce for shipping. The industry bred produce for looks. the industry bred produce and forgot that people eat the produce.
Time after time I hear: It looks like lettuce but, It looks like a tomato but.
Consumers that grew up eating fresh produce out of a garden or that grow a garden themselves know the difference. If they buy it at the store and it doesn't taste the same, or if they see it and it looks battered and bruised and choose not to buy it isn't a stretch to know why.
It's looks like a tomato. It's even almost the same color as a tomato but it sure doesn't taste like what they know of a tomato.
The same goes for every other type of produce.
The problem is where it is grown and how long it took to get to the market.
The same old, same old, isn't cutting it anymore. It is time to bring the fruit back to the consumer. Grow it where they eat it so they can not only see it grown but taste the difference. Week old trucked in produce is not going to satisfy todays consumer and no amount of marketing is going to change that.
It's about the product. Taste, quality, looks in that order not the other way around.
Fresh means today not last week."
1:59 p.m. The Packer Market, the new social network site, continues to gain new members everyday, with a nice international flavor. Activity/attention to the site will be ramping up. Join up!
2:01 p.m. The USDA FAS has put out a new report on sustainable agriculture in Italy. Marketers and consumers are still wandering around the wilderness relative to the definition of “sustainable” versus “organic,” the report seems to say; From the USDA: