3 years ago

Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan


APPENDIX D: INDUSTRY PRACTICES Market segments might include the end user (green-popcorn-type products); processors seeking specific manufacturing characteristics such as soft-textured, thin-pericap kernels; cost and environmentally sensitive producers demanding pest-resistant varieties; or economic developers needing special growing-condition attributes. Keys to success for these seed companies controlled by chemical and pharmaceutical firms will be sale economies in research and the ability to extract returns from differentiated products. Pursuing these success factors will necessitate identity-preserved product distribution and marketing channels. Developing these channels might be accomplished through strategic alliances, administered pricing, and tightly controlled production and marketing systems. Vertical integration, joint ventures, and production and market contracting will be strategic structural tools employed to accomplish the risk- sensitive return-on-investment objectives. Food processors, in attempting to meet the needs of an increasing number of segmented markets, will adopt new search, monitor, and control information technology, flexible manufacturing approaches, and alliances with specific attribute-sensitive suppliers. Their sourcing alliances might stretch all the way back to the attribute-design breeding activities within the seed companies. As product attributes attain recognizable property rights, a more vertically coordinated sourcing channel will be needed to preserve product identity. These channels will necessitate improved coordinating methods, including resource and production contracting, and backward integration into storage and handling functions. The move toward specialized product and commodity markets will increasingly define the importance of seed companies, food manufacturers, and global bulk commodity trading firms. Of course, many service firms will emerge as new functions are identified and performed. But in general, the firms that survive will be those that create a position in the end-use market and back it up with an efficient system for producing and handling agricultural raw materials. These leading firms will have minimized their production and transaction costs by managing risks through well-designed, information-intensive governance structures. Economics suggests that for the foreseeable future these governance structures will tend more toward vertical coordination and negotiated pricing than the open price system. This means that, at least during this phase in the evolution of the marketing system, grain and oilseed producers will find themselves in a more vertically coordinated global food system. Copyright©, 2000: Agricultural & Community Development Services, Inc, Columbia MD 10

APPENDIX D: INDUSTRY PRACTICES Produce Industry Practices The produce industry is one of the most dynamic of our agricultural and food industries. Produce is unlike others where the commodity is highly perishable, consumer preference is highly critical, and prices can drop downwards or spike upwards dramatically in hours time. Mergers, acquisitions, and internal growth among grocery retailers, largely since 1996, have increased the share of grocery store sales accounted for by the top food retailers nationwide. Similar consolidation is occurring among food wholesalers. At the same time, new packaged and branded produce items are gaining acceptance with consumers and vying for shelf space in the supermarket produce department. These are among several dynamic forces that are affecting change in produce markets and market channels. Technological innovations, changes in consumer preferences, and globalization of the produce industry have affected the volume of sales, price, and quality of many fresh fruits and vegetables. Electronic commerce and vertically integrated computer networks have allowed grower shippers and retailers to improve communications in marketing produce, saving on inventory control and reducing shrinkage. Atmosphere controlled cargo and remote monitoring systems have extended the shelf life and quality of perishable products. As a result, the supermarket produce department has made way for year-round varieties, precut produce, and more packaged and branded items. These changes are likely to have profound effects on the way the produce industry is organized and the way it conducts businesses. Per capita consumption of fresh produce increased 12 percent during 1987-97. Consumers, responding in part to increased health concerns, are demanding year-round supplies of fresh produce. Rising incomes and time demands have spurred consumer acceptance of fresh-cut, quick to prepare products. Vegetable consumption has increased significantly on a per capita basis in the last decade. The exceptions are cauliflower, celery, green peas and head lettuce, which have seen per capita consumption fall since 1990. For head lettuce, the change in consumer preferences can be attributed to a substantial increase in Romaine and leaf lettuce varieties. While per capita consumption has generally increased for most of the vegetables, the majority of the increase can be attributed to an increase in the consumption of fresh vegetables, and not necessarily processed vegetables. Indeed, potatoes are the only vegetable that has seen processed per-capita consumption outpace fresh consumption in the last 10 years, largely as a result of the growing demand for french fries. For fruit, per capita consumption has generally increased, although the magnitude of change is generally lower than that for vegetables. However, like vegetables, there is a trend toward relatively higher consumption of fresh as opposed to processed fruits. While most of the fresh fruits have seen higher per-capita consumption in the last 10 years, there Copyright©, 2000: Agricultural & Community Development Services, Inc, Columbia MD 11

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