It’s reasonable to be for or against the Produce for Better Health Foundation proposed national generic promotion for fresh fruits and vegetables.


There’s no shame in remaining neutral.


It would be a little surprising to hear that a first handler, the one who would pay the assessment for such a program, doesn’t care which way it goes.


Even more surprising, and disappointing, would be to hear that a first handler hadn’t heard of such a program.


Nonetheless, a recent PBH e-mail survey found those results: only 8% responded, indicating strong indifference, and 45% of those who responded said they hadn’t heard of the proposed generic promotion plan.


It’s hard to believe that many produce industry people would be ignorant of it.


Since its presentation to the industry in early April, the plan has been discussed in commodity board and promotion board meetings; written about and analyzed in The Packer; debated in workshops at the United Fresh Produce Association convention in April in Las Vegas and at the Produce Marketing Association foodservice conference in July in Monterey, Calif.; and it will be the subject of a PMA Fresh Summit workshop in October.


Supporters say it would be similar to the dairy industry’s “Got Milk” campaign, which has returned higher prices and sales to its industry.


Those opposed say it would rely too heavily on grower-shipper funding, benefit unequally, or not benefit producers at all.

There are other legitimate points for and against.


PBH deserves credit for bringing the issue up, promoting it and facilitating discussion, even when it has to publicize unflattering survey results.


Pass or fail, the plan deserves an honest debate within the  industry. If you don’t know enough about it, educate yourself.

If you have a better idea, speak up.

Did The Packer get it right? Leave a comment and add your say.