Hurricane Irma has delivered a heavy blow to Florida’s produce industry. What will it mean to the fresh produce industry over the next several months?
 
I asked this question on LinkedIn and I invite all of our Southeast U.S. and otherwise enlightened readers to respond:
 
 
 
Early signals appear to show that the citrus industry has absorbed heavy losses, perhaps more than 50%.
 
The latest coverage from The Packer is here. The extent of the storm damage can’t be communicated in a 500-word story, but a clearer picture of the fallout from Irma will come as more industry leaders share their stories.
 
 
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Europe seems to be no closer - and in fact appears moving farther away - from embracing genetically engineered crops. Check out a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service report on the topic.
 
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It is getting better all the time. Well, at least lately. The Census Bureau said yesterday that real median household income increased by 3.2% between 2015 and 2016, while the official poverty rate decreased 0.8%. Median household income in the United States in 2016 was $59,039, an increase from $57,230 in 2015. With 40.6 million people in poverty, the nation’s official poverty rate is 12.7%, about unchanged from pre-recession rate of 12.5%, the year prior to the 2008 recession. Those without health insurance declined from 9.1% in 2015 to 8.8% in 2016.
 
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Check out a news release on Pagoda, a Chinese fruit retail chain that is expected to open 10,000 stores by 2020. 
 
 
One encouraging sign for U.S. fruit exporters, from the release: 
 
Compared to RMB 148 million of a sales volume in 2012, fruit imports are anticipated to grow to approximately RMB 4,500 million by the end of 2017, representing a development trend within China’s fruit market.
 
 
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Your Amazon read for today from Harvard Business Review, Whole Foods Is Becoming Amazon’s Brick-and-Mortar Pricing Lab