Category Archives: State of the Industry

Trade Wars

CRANBERRYWhat started out in hard goods like steel and aluminum has made its way into fresh market produce like apples and cherries.  The tit-for-tat tariff race is affecting producers all across the country. Read more >

The Exodus

The ottomatoes2her day I had on a polo shirt with a Big Red Tomato Growers logo on it. My son Paul asked me if I had any that said Harllee Packing.  They too would become collector’s items, as that long established tomato grower/shipper was going to be closing its doors like Big Red had done some years ago.

The exodus from the Florida tomato deal started when the retiring snowbird population wanted golf courses and condominiums in the Sunshine State. The farmland was worth more for development than it was for agricultural production. The tenuous relationship with imported Mexican tomatoes added more financial strain on the domestic tomato growers. Their decision to sell off land and preserve the family wealth was an economic no-brainer.

Now there seems to be a rash of announcements regarding the future production of tomatoes in Florida.  Rumor has it that Tomatoes of Ruskin might be exiting the deal. Triple E is said to be moving out of the US and into Mexico. Del Monte (who purchased the assets of East Coast Tomato) is not planting a tomato crop this fall.

While it is sad to see these long established operations close their doors, there certainly is no shortage of tomatoes in the marketplace. Newer facilities with more efficient production methods will produce fresh market crops, in the necessary quantity, with requisite quality. In a free market, productivity will eventually trump tradition. We wish the exiting growers well and embrace the contemporary producers.


emploee leavingRemember when turnover was a tasty treat that your grandmother made when your family gathered for a visit? Today you say turnover within earshot of a business manager and they cringe. The pundits say we have a labor crisis – I disagree. We have a turnover crisis. Read more >


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Alignment used to be limited to the front wheels on your car. Today the term describes unusual changes in retailer behavior trying to be at the intersection of consumer wants, product location and time. Read more >

Digesting Whole Foods

170616141515-amazon-whole-foods-jeff-bezos-grocery-brick-and-mortar-00001001-1024x576It has taken me a while to digest the Amazon play for Whole Foods. There was so much hype and speculation at the time of the announcement that I couldn’t focus. Read more >