Helping Produce Businesses in Many Ways

Posted on 04/24/2013 at 12:00 AM by Christa Hartsook

Blog article reprinted with permission from the USDA blog. The article was written by Charles Parrott, AMS Fruit and Vegetable Program Deputy Administrator.

Accurate and timely information, access to new markets, and financial protection are critical to the success of any business. In the produce industry, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides services to cover all three of these items.

By providing current price and volume information, AMS Market News helps produce businesses, transportation companies, and others make informed decisions. In response to user requests, we created the Custom Average Tool (CAT). This new tool makes it easy to view average price trends over a period of time, select a range of data desired, download data in a spreadsheet, and much more. Choosing which varieties or products to carry and what the price levels might be at a given time of year are easier for  a wholesaler to determine when they can easily visualize average price trends compared to movement in a dashboard. The CAT is now prominently displayed on our Fruit and Vegetable Market News Portal.

In addition to having access to accurate information at the right time, successful businesses must be able to identify and reach new markets. The AMS Commodity Procurement staff helps out on this front by offering qualified companies the opportunity to sell products to USDA. Large and small businesses can compete with each other to land contracts to send products to the National School Lunch Program and other federal nutrition programs.

AMS will host a webinar on June 27 to help companies get a better understanding of the procurement process. Learn How to Sell Fruits and Vegetables to USDA will discuss the products the agency buys, provide the requirements for becoming an approved vendor, and much more. It is the next installment in our webinar series that teaches others about the agency’s fruit and vegetable programs.

While access to accurate information and new outlets are important, a solid backup plan is also necessary. Without the proper protection, financial disputes can jeopardize a company’s profits or lead to bankruptcy. To help prevent and resolve these disputes, the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) offers education, mediation, licensing, and enforcement services. With a host of resources available on our website and specialists that can answer your questions, PACA is your partner in the produce industry. You can learn more about PACA by watching our video.

AMS is committed to helping businesses in the produce industry. Visit our Fruit and Vegetable Program website to learn about the other ways that we support this industry.

Categories: Local/Regional Foods