The old idiom and old proverb goes something like this “Its an ill wind that blows nobody good.”

I think the saying means that nearly all winds of change brings somebody good fortune.  A hurricane brings good fortune to roof contractors, for instance. But the current cold snap gripping much of the nation – now with another storm barreling toward Kansas City Wednesday - doesn’t offer much to the produce industry.  Other than frost-spurred spikes in selected f.o.b. markets, there isn't a great upside for produce marketers.  Shoppers don’t feel like shopping, and that hurts all suppliers and retailers.

Here is Dec. 31 coverage from the Business Daily in Africa about how the persistent cold winter in Europe is hurting exporters in Kenya:

Extreme winter conditions in Europe — the worst in five years — are causing jitters within the Kenya’s horticulture industry because of a significant cut in outdoor activities that has stymied orders for exports for the high season that runs between February and May.

While December falls within the cyclic winter season in Europe, flowers, fruits and vegetable exporters say cold temperatures have hit the purchase of flowers and hindered transportation of fresh produce from the main airports to the hinterland, mostly served by trains and trucks.


Meanwhile, Andy Nelson of The Packer also covered this angle in Dec. 31 coverage. One thing that comes through in Andy’s quotes is the resiliency of the industry, and the irrepressible work ethic that seeks to overcome all challenges.

 Here is an example from Andy’s story:

Though he had to pay a bulldozer operator to remove a mountain of snow in front of his market stall, Carlos Garcia, general manager of the New York-based Krisp-Pak Sales Corp., said he didn’t hear of any delivery problems encountered by distributors on the Bronx-based Hunt’s Point Terminal Market.


On second thought, bring it on, Old Man Winter. You are no match for the U.S. produce industry.