Produce Processing

May/June 2020

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4 M A Y / J U N E 2 0 2 0 4 A division of Great American Publishing ISSN 2375-3447 Editorial and advertising offices at Great American Media Services, a division of Great American Publishing, P.O. Box 128, Sparta, MI 49345 Phone: 616-887-9008 Fax: 616-887-2666 Printed eight times a year in the U.S.A. Copyright 2020 Produce Processing is $25 per year and $55 for three years if residing in the U.S.; $56 (U.S.) per year Canada; and $100 (U.S.) per year other foreign countries. Digital subscription: $9.95 per year. Single copy and back issues: $6. The opinions and views expressed by authors, contributors and advertisers in Produce Processing do not necessarily reflect those of the editors and publisher. Appearance in Produce Processing does not constitute endorsement by Great American Media Services or Produce Processing of the advertiser, its products, or services. Great American Media Services and Produce Processing accepts no responsibility of liability for the validity or accuracy of information supplied by contributors, vendors, advertisers, or advertising agencies. Great American Media Services and Produce Processing do not make any claims or guarantees as to the accuracy or validity of information supplied by contributors, vendors, advertisers or advertising agencies. For subscription information, visit our website at Permission is granted for reprinting material, except for commercial or advertising purposes, providing Produce Processing is given full credit. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes and corrections to Great American Publishing, PO Box 318, Lincolnshire IL 60069 THE PROCESS Z E K E J E N N I N G S Unprecedented is an adjective that has been used frequently this spring. Aptly so. The shutdowns and stay-at-home orders that have taken place due to the COVID-19 outbreak do not compare to anything experienced by society, at least not in our lifetimes. The situation also has turned the food supply chain on its ear. It is an interesting case study in just how intricate, perhaps inflexible, the food supply system is for most of the world's population. In the U.S., less than 2% of the population is in the business of growing produce or raising livestock for meat and dairy. There are many more who are in food production, of course, but they still rely on the production of those 2% — actually, it's closer to 1% — to make their products. What, how much and how those farmers and ranchers produce is based on years of consumer trends, calculations and technology. In many cases, it's directly linked to the estimated need of those who process the raw product. Potatoes are one of the most consumed and processed vegetables in the world. The potato industry is also a prime example of what happens to a well-oiled supply chain when the market suddenly shifts. For years, consumer trends have been moving away from cooking at home toward eating out. That's been good for the frozen french fry producers that supply the McDonald's, Applebee's and Wendy's of the world. It's bad, however, when folks suddenly aren't eating at restaurants at all, nor are they getting drive-thru or take-out meals as often. Processors often contract with growers well before they anticipate needing product so that ample acres can be planted. Sticking with potatoes as the example, the varieties planted, size they're allowed to reach, crop protection agents used and storage temperature can all be different between spuds meant for processing and fresh ones marketable to retailers. That's why there is a surplus of potatoes in the supply chain, like so many other perishable items. Sales of non-perishable processed goods for retail, like canned vegetables or instant mashed potatoes have spiked. Short-term, it's not a bad thing, but long-term supply is potentially threatened as growers reduce acreage. Eventually, the foodservice demand will come back, and what then? No one can be certain. It's unprecedented. Unprecedented times Zeke Jennings Managing Editor Office 616-887-9008 Managing Editor Zeke Jennings, 616-520-2159 Advertising Andrea Schafer, 616-520-2139 Editorial Director Tim Hodson, 616-520-2161 Creative Director Kristina Howell, 616-520-2168 Multimedia Designer Greg Ryan, 616-520-2145 Production Assistant Samantha Orsi, 616-520-2148 Group Marketing Melissa Gray, 616-520-2153 Director Custom Content Jess Schmidt, 616-520-2141 Manager Circulation Becky Stovall, 616-520-2138 Billing Accounts Receivable, 616-520-2136 Contributing Editors Gary Pullano, 616-520-2144 Stephen Kloosterman, 616-520-2152 COO & Director of Kimberly Baker, 616-520-2135 Custom Media CFO & Director of Deb Carnes, 616-520-2169 Human Resources Vice President/ Gerry Bodgdon, 616-520-2150 Group Publisher CEO Matt McCallum, 616-520-2133 Editorial Advisory Board Adrienne Seiling, American Frozen Food Institute Bob Swartwout, Direct Advantage Rudi Groppe, Heinzen Manufacturing International Lou Cooperhouse, Rutgers Food Innovation Center Sherrie Rosenblatt, Can Manufacturers Institute email Zeke:

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