ANAHEIM, Calif. – As the economy begins to slowly recover, the produce industry faces a radically different business environment where consumers have less loyalty and are concerned about sustainability.

Produce industry faces changed world after recession

Dawn Withers

Bryan Silbermann, president of the Produce Marketing Association, speaks about the future of the produce industry during his annual outlook presentation at Fresh Summit on Oct. 3.

Bryan Silbermann, president of the Produce Marketing Association, said during his annual outlook presentation at Fresh Summit on Oct. 3 that while consumers are looking to get more value for their produce purchases and are spending less, they want to connect to the items they buy and the companies that grow them.

“Getting back to basics is about supporting the community,” Silbermann said.  
 
In the new economy, Silbermann said consumers are concerned about the ethics behind the produce they buy, whether workers are paid well or how the produce is grown, and feel they are bettering their communities through locally sourced produce.

“It’s a fundamental shift in how some people view their place in the world,” Silbermann said.