The Packer’s Tom Karst visited March 25 with Alex DiNovo, president and chief operating officer of DNO Produce, the Columbus, Ohio-based distributor.
DiNovo talks about the adjustments the firm has made in the last couple of weeks as foodservice demand has dried up relative to school and restaurant closures in the state.
DiNovo said the company has put in place both measures to cut costs and also to prospect for new business and serve retailers.
Whenever restaurants are operating at full strength again — whether weeks or months — he said it still may take some more time for consumers to feel confident in the economy, DiNovo said.
The United Fresh Produce Association has helped in communicating to lawmakers about the needs of distributors and the entire industry, he said.
“They’ve done a great job, giving us the language to send our representatives, and giving us the language to send to the USDA,” he said. “Ultimately, the government needs to keep people employed,” he said.
“If it doesn’t keep people employed, there’s going to be much larger issues.”
He said the crisis will pass in time and the industry should focus on helping people.
“I think the key is that everybody’s got to stay positive,” he said. “This will end eventually, and how do you how do you want to be remembered during this time, personally and in your company?”