March 26, 2020
It seems that America now understands what is necessary to stay healthy and a majority of Americans are doing their best to abide. While the government is doing what it can to cover labor costs and provide funds, wholesalers have become very creative about moving product, rotating inventory and keeping their operations functioning. The National Grocers Association (NGA) is pairing retailers with wholesalers. Albertsons is hiring furloughed Grimmway employees. In Ohio, wholesalers are literally parking trucks throughout the state and giving away produce. US Foods has partnered with C&S creating symmetry that will be a win win for each company and provide many supermarkets with timely supply. Other wholesalers have set up packaging operations turning bulk produce into retail ready product. Others throughout the county are offering home delivery, curbside delivery, and safe drop off points. It’s good to see our industry adjusting and reaching out in these very challenging times. Please continue to support the growers and suppliers (read “us”) whenever you can. We are all in this together.
Some produce companies do not have the facility or the means to shift from wholesale to retail overnight. One example is the very popular fresh ramp season that will be essentially wiped out this year. As the ramps are ready now with two weeks to peak, their season will be over before the foodservice industry resumes. This represents a huge deficit for pickers, receivers and shippers. The same is true for many foraged items that have left pickers out of work. We are doing everything we can to support them but it is tough as these are restaurant specialty items. There are great deals to be made and companies to save if we can find a way to get these items into retail operations. If you can help, Culinary is willing to work for free to move these items. Please contact our office for details.
Government and goodwill aside, the big question for the foodservice, entertainment and sports industries, along with the millions that support them is when. It’s a question of life vs economy which seems obvious until economy causes loss of life. No doubt this is a horrible combination of survival on two different levels and there will be business fallout. On top of that, while we need to remain vigilant, we also need to look out for our neighbors and our community. Better supply at the market will help relieve stress but as people continue to needlessly hoard that may not become possible. To us, two things are very obvious. First this will end, we will defeat this virus. Second, contrary to broadcasted belief, this will most likely not be cleaned up by April 12, Easter Sunday. We can hope that maybe we will be at peak by that point and the curve will flatten out after that. We wish you all the best and unfortunately have to admit that it is going to be a very difficult April for many. Hang in, stay healthy, and stay safe.
THE PRODUCE QUIZ HAS BEEN QUARANTINED FOR
14 DAYS WHICH BEGAN THURSDAY 3-16-2020. IT IS SHOWING
SOME SLIGHT SYMPTOMS BUT A FULL RECOVERY IS EXPECTED
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