In this space, I will make note of a few of the links that I perhaps did not have time to fully delve into but may well be worth a closer look. First of all, readers should join the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group on LinkedIn and the companion group on Google. Both groups have numerous posts each day. Here are more links to consider:

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack statement to House Ag Committee Feb. 17

Comment Response Document for the Final Regulatory Determination on Perchlorate

USDA FAS Report: United Kingdom Retailers

From the report:

In the UK the retail grocery industry is concentrated with eighty-two percent market share in the hands of just five supermarket chains. The remainder is scattered over hundreds of outlets. This report overviews the characteristics of UK retail outlets and how best to place U.S. products in the UK market.

Over the last 12 months, the UK food and drink industry has faced challenging trading conditions as shoppers, manufacturers and retailers have been impacted by a range of factors. Increased pressure on household budgets, unemployment, the banking crisis, and the availability of credit continues to impact consumer spending. Despite these challenges, the UK food and grocery market remains robust.

While not recession proof, food and grocery is more resilient to the current downturn in the economic market than other sectors. The UK grocery market was worth £150.8 billion ($241.3 billion) for calendar year 2010. This is an increase of 3.1 percent over 2009. Groceries account for 12.8 percent of total household spending in the UK, making it the third largest area of expenditure, following housing and transport. Food and grocery expenditures account for 53p in every £1.00 of retail spending (excluding restaurants). 21p in every £1.00 spent on food and grocery is spent in convenience stores.

There are 91,509 grocery stores in the UK. These are split into 4 sectors. Supermarket Chains: Supermarkets have a sales area of 3,000-25,000 square feet and sell a broad range of grocery items. Superstores are defined as stores that have a sales area above 25,000 square feet, selling a broad range of grocery and non-food items.

Convenience Stores: These stores have sales areas of less than 3,000 square feet, are open for long hours, and sell products from at least 8 different grocery categories. Traditional Retail and Developing Convenience Stores: These stores have sales areas of less than 3,000 square feet, and include news stands, green-grocers, liquor stores and gas stations. Alternative Channels: This category includes a wide range of outlets such as internet or catalogue home shopping, farmers’ markets, and other produce markets and vending machines.

USDA FAS: Profiles of UK supermarkets