How to Make Dollars and Sense of Today’s Produce Marketplace Mayhem

How to Make Dollars and Sense of Today’s Produce Marketplace Mayhem

The consumer retail landscape continues to shift at a break-neck pace. Can fruit and vegetable growers keep up with all the different demands?


The task is certainly a tall order, especially given current market forces that often contradict each other. This dilemma was at the heart of discussion during the latest installment of the GenNext Growers Webinar Series sponsored by BASF.

Roland Fumasi, Vice President and Senior Analyst for RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness, and Chuck Benson, Senior Manager of Market Intelligence for BASF’s Crop Protection Division, were on hand to explore the opportunities that lie within some of the most pressing challenges.

On a positive note, Fumasi pointed out that when people’s incomes rise, they tend to change their eating habits, which includes eating more fresh products. “This is a major driver of global demand for the products that you all produce today,” he said.

While that’s a positive trend, in generalizing the situation the produce sector finds itself in today, Fumasi calls it a “world of seemingly conflicting desires.” He started by providing examples of give and take, including the charge to feed a growing population, but the desire of many to not use certain modern technologies to accomplish it (e.g., GMOs).

One of his favorite examples of this revolves around convenience. “People want more convenience in products, but we’re expected to use less packaging because it can cause issues with the environment.”

Lastly, Fumasi lamented about keeping prices “reasonable” in the face of the aforementioned demands, plus all of the supply side pest and disease pressures in the field, etc.

“If you ever feel like you’re working harder than before just to tread water; in some ways, you are,” he said.

While he could have filled hours of air time to discuss this matter at length, Fumasi focused on a few major factors, plus one that should be on the radar for GenNext Growers.

Click on the image below to watch the on-demand version of this webcast.

GenNext Growers Forces impacting the future of the North American produce market webinar PowerPoint slide