PMA’s Fresh Summit: Eat Up!

PMA’s Fresh Summit: Eat Up!

This week is the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit Conference and Expo – the largest fresh fruit, vegetable and floral show in the Americas. The event brings over 18,000 people from across the supply chain and around the world together to discuss ideas, network and experience the latest industry innovations. Having attended more trade shows than I care to remember, I have to say that this is one of the most interesting events there is, if for no other reason than you can walk over 50 aisles sampling fresh fruits and...Continue Reading...
Grocers are Turning to Artificial Intelligence

Grocers are Turning to Artificial Intelligence

If you care about food, these statistics from a recent Progressive Grocer article Grocers Embrace AI to Optimize Supply Chain might alarm you: 43 percent of grocers are challenged by lack of real-time inventory visibility 48 percent of grocers rate their forecasting technology from very poor to average 43 percent of retail supply chain professionals say their technology can’t keep up with business demands These are flashing red lights – with the above data illustrating significant problems within the fresh food supply chain...Continue Reading...
First Principles Thinking and the Fresh Food Supply Chain

First Principles Thinking and the Fresh Food Supply Chain

What do Southwest Airlines, SpaceX and the newest approach to pitching in baseball, “bullpenning,” have in common? Each took a new approach to solving an existing problem: Southwest eliminated the hub-and-spoke model favored by other airlines, reduced turn times at airports and standardized on a single type of airplane (the Boeing 737) to reduce and simplify maintenance. The result was lower fares and cornering the market on inexpensive air travel. This sparked change in the industry. SpaceX started with the basics of what went into...Continue Reading...
Will Blockchain Solve Food Safety Challenges?

Will Blockchain Solve Food Safety Challenges?

The adoption of blockchain among growers and retailers is a positive development for all AgTech companies.  It provides an opportunity for growers to embrace technology that can help organize their data and provide new insights for addressing pre- and post-harvest challenges. However, for the adoption of any technology to be successful, there must be proven value to the customer. If growers and retailers don’t benefit from a technology, such as blockchain, it likely won’t be embraced. Blockchain, like most technology, must deliver...Continue Reading...
The Game of (Shelf) Life

The Game of (Shelf) Life

The Game of Life, created by Milton Bradley, is intended to be a fun way to mimic life – you’re born, you decide to pursue a college degree or go directly to work, you get married, have kids, lose your job, lose a turn. It’s a race to the finish, but life often has its delays along the way. This process through the lifecycle is similar for fresh produce. In “The Game of Shelf-Life,” produce such as strawberries or lettuce is harvested, field-packed, rushed to the pack house, pre-cooled, warehoused, shipped in a properly-refrigerated...Continue Reading...
Improving Post-harvest Operational Efficiency

Improving Post-harvest Operational Efficiency

Have you ever walked out to your yard and seen a long line of trucks with your produce waiting…in the hot sun? How is this impacting your business? You might find yourself asking, like the 1974 song by Ace, “How long has this been going on?” Whether you’re a grower, shipper or processor, managing costs is usually top of mind, especially when your biggest costs are labor and equipment. How can you make sure you’re efficiently utilizing both in your operations? What if your already limited labor resources are being underutilized? What...Continue Reading...
Food Waste Drops Profits & Raises Greenhouse Gases

Food Waste Drops Profits & Raises Greenhouse Gases

Did you know that food waste contributes eight percent of global greenhouse gas emissions? When we think of food waste and sustainability, oftentimes commentary about the issue focuses on food that is not being used to feed the hungry or wasted food taking up space in landfills. But what happens to waste once it’s in the landfill? Food waste produces greenhouse gases…a lot of greenhouse gases. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, The Climate Impact of the Food in the Back of Your Fridge, discusses the impact of waste on the...Continue Reading...
September is National Family Meals Month

September is National Family Meals Month

How many meals do you eat at home with your family on any given week? When I was a kid, pretty much every dinner was spent with my entire family. My mom always made sure we had a variety of fresh foods to eat including lean meats, veggies, pasta and often fresh strawberries (with vanilla ice cream, of course) for dessert. However, these images of classic Americana are now increasingly rare. Between parents working long hours, kids having baseball or soccer practices and games, plus dance and music classes, there’s rarely enough time...Continue Reading...
This Isn’t What I Ordered!

This Isn’t What I Ordered!

Like perhaps many of you, I worked my way through college as a waiter. On the best days, working in a restaurant is chaotic but restaurants today are nothing like when I was in college. Nowadays, there’s a lot more going on. Today’s restaurants have to deal with a variety of new challenges – challenges that are stressing and straining their operations: The increase in delivery or takeout orders negatively impacting dine-in traffic. Having to deal with delivery by their own staff as well as dealing with services like Door Dash and...Continue Reading...
Charles Darwin and the Fresh Food Industry

Charles Darwin and the Fresh Food Industry

What does Charles Darwin have in common with the fresh food industry? Boiling down evolutionary theory to its basics, those that adapt survive. Those that don’t, well…. In a new white paper from Transworld Data, Mary Shacklett references the tale of three companies, Netflix, Blockbuster and Red Box, who have all taken different approaches to the entertainment content market. Not much more than a decade ago, Blockbuster dominated the movie and media content market, having over 9,000 stores at its peak. Meanwhile, Netflix a small DVD...Continue Reading...