March 19, 2020
In a world of no empathy, where be best and deplorable rule, many would say that this was the worst week ever in the produce business. Yet for many segments it was Christmas come early. The net effect of this will be painful. Even for the largest companies that handle foodservice, none had a plan for how to deal with a national foodservice shutdown, and then figure out how to remain in operation for up to 18 months without any customers. The ripple effect from the shutdown will be expansive as it rips though grower relations, customer relations, trucker relations, disked fields, payrolls missed, mortgages not paid, and ultimately closing the doors. That’s just the business side. Then there’s the hand washing, social distance and bartering for toilet paper while making sure your elders are safe.
Some produce companies are being very creative with the large inventories they are suddenly unable to move. They have taken their drivers and turned them into home delivery personnel. Loaders and stockers help customers with their selections and maintain the display. Bookkeepers become cashiers. And the sales staff now focuses on bringing in the community as you now sell to the consumer. Dock side pick-up, home delivery, you can now offer the consumer a safer shopping experience, fresher product, and better pricing. Call the local radio station and newspaper, tell them what‘s happening and get some free publicity. You might even be able to find a local dairy or cattle ranch to partner with. It’s a great idea to use your refrigerated facility and a unique shopping experience. We are a strong industry known for being creative. There is still a market out there and everyone’s gotta eat. Customers are just in a different location.
Government is making lots of promises, both local and federal, but their main focus is community spread and where their next face mask will come from. Chatter about free funds, available loans and leniencies are just that and while they could come through they will not come close to providing anything more than a short term solution. While the entertainment, sports, and restaurant and hospitality industries remain closed we need to find another way for people to get their sustenance that is safe and enjoyable. A refrigerated warehouse filled with perishable goods might be a good start. Our hearts and minds are with you. We are struggling right alongside. If there is anything we can do to help please feel free to contact us. We need to be creative too.
PRODUCE QUIZ — WHO AM I???
THE PRODUCE QUIZ HAS BEEN QUARANTINED FOR
14 DAYS WHICH BEGAN LAST THURSDAY. IT IS SHOWING
SOME SLIGHT SYMPTOMS BUT A FULL RECOVERY IS EXPECTED
Answer to last week’s quiz ….. BUTTERNUT SQUASH…..Congrats to all winners
Call 908-789-4700 –Lisa or Richard– Fax 908-789-4702
Visit us at www.culinaryproduce.com
“like” us @ Culinary Specialty Produce on Facebook©
Culinary Specialty Produce, Inc., 2015