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Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

APPENDIX D: INDUSTRY

APPENDIX D: INDUSTRY PRACTICES • Nearly all retail organizations will bypass wholesale markets and, instead, will purchase directly from grower-shippers. Direct buying will account for 75% of all retail and foodservice produce buys, up from roughly 50%. • Direct relationships between large retail and foodservice buyers and grower shippers increasingly will dominate the produce supply pipeline. • Only those who have the ability to mesh with buyers and their systems will be the ultimate winners. Supermarket retailers will eventually do business with only a core group of suppliers who offer a broad range of produce and are technologically ready. • Contracts in which price/volume specifications are ensured long term will become the basis for half of all supermarket produce purchasing, up from 15% today. • As retailers consolidate, more grower shippers are just going to want to lock in the business with them and will probably go to contracts if necessary and forgo the possibility of taking advantage of higher markets. • Grower shipper survival won’t depend solely on an ability or willingness to change systems and procedures. It also will hinge on the ability offer the products and services buyers and their customer’s demand. Product variety, quality, integrity, and reliability will be key to grower shippers becoming long-term suppliers. • Most grower shippers will expand their sourcing capabilities to include other regions with different climates as a way to offer a more continuous supply. • Grower shippers also will need increased import capabilities to remain competitive. • Vendor managed inventory services will be a prominent outgrowth of increased electronic communications. The growth of electronic data interchange (EDI) will help drive category management programs. Detailed information on product sales, particularly at the retail level, will be transmitted in real-time between buyer and seller. Such information provides the backbone of category management programs, which will guide retailers in making decisions about space allocation. • The consumer, being the greatest driving force of change, is expected to consume 290 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables per year by 2005. Agricultural and Community Development Services conducted a regional market assessment for the Maryland Wholesale Food Center in the spring of 2000, from Virginia to New Jersey, following the I-95 transportation corridor. Key to our findings was that food purchasing is still a relationship based business and that growers/regions with strong ties to markets will be well positioned for success. This success will also be predicated on stronger food safety programs and competitive products. Copyright©, 2000: Agricultural & Community Development Services, Inc, Columbia MD 16

APPENDIX D: INDUSTRY PRACTICES The study also noted that value added foods are one of the fastest growing segments in the region. Thirty-eight % of the respondents were engaged in some type of value added food production with an additional 21% expecting to process foods within the next five years. Seventy-three percent of those processing foods expect to expand their product line. Of those not interested in processing foods, 33% believe that there is insufficient market, 33% lack appropriate facilities, 13% lack capital, and 20% do not have an interest in value added processing. The study revealed that wholesalers, retailers and restaurateurs all were interested in making direct purchases from farmers. Farmers who want access to these markets must pay consistent attention to packaging, grading, sanitation and food safety because product quality is a very high priority for these buyers. Copyright©, 2000: Agricultural & Community Development Services, Inc, Columbia MD 17

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