Sunday, December 8, 2013
Restaurant Job Growth Continues to Outpace Overall Economy by Two to One Restaurants Have Added Nearly 300,000 Jobs So Far in 2013
The National Restaurant Association's Chief Economist Bruce Grindy breaks down the latest jobs report. The economy appears to be gaining a little momentum into 2014, as the labor market has registered consistent improvements in recent months. In addition, restaurant operators’ outlook for the economy improved somewhat in November. New labor market data from the November employment report suggested that the economy may be gaining some momentum as the year closes out, with payroll growth remaining solid and the unemployment rate falling to a post-recession low. According to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the economy added a net 203,000 jobs in November, which marked the third time in the last four months with gains of at least 200,000 jobs. Over the past four months, the economy averaged net gains of 204,000 jobs, which is sufficient growth to put downward pressure on the jobless rate. Indeed, the unemployment rate did fall to 7.0 percent in November, the lowest level in five years. To be sure, the labor market is far from fully recovered, as nearly 11 million individuals remained unemployed – 4.1 million for more than six months. In addition, over 8 million more are either working part-time for economic reasons or are not looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. But overall, the trend is certainly moving in the right direction, albeit much slower than would be expected at this point in a recovery. Job growth was broad-based in November, as both goods-producing (+44,000) and service-producing (+152,000) sectors registered solid gains. Importantly, manufacturers added a net 27,000 jobs in November, the sector’s strongest gain in 20 months. For their part, restaurant operators maintained their steady contribution to the recovery. Eating and drinking places added a net 18,000 jobs in November, the 45th consecutive monthly gain for a total of 1.1 million jobs. During the first 11 months of 2013, eating and drinking places added nearly 300,000 jobs. Driven by these steady gains, restaurant-industry employment is on pace to grow at a robust 3.3 percent rate in 2013 – or more than double the 1.6 percent gain in total U.S. jobs. In addition, 2013 will represent the 14th consecutive year in which restaurant job growth outpaced the overall economy. Restaurant operators’ outlook for the economy also marginally improved in November. In the National Restaurant Association’s November 2013 Tracking Survey, 27 percent of restaurant operators said they expect economic conditions to improve in six months, while 26 percent expect the economy to worsen. While this outlook is far from rosy, it was certainly an improvement over operators’ sentiment in October, when 19 percent said they expected the economy would improve and 28 percent thought conditions would worsen. Read more from the Economist’s Notebook and get additional analysis of restaurant industry trends on Restaurant TrendMapper (subscription required).
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Statement by Bob Stallman, President American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding Need for Congressional Ag Leaders To Lead Toward Farm Bill Conclusion
December 4, 2013 “It is time, once and for all, to unify behind a farm bill that works for all of American agriculture, including crop, livestock and fruit and vegetable growers. As a nation, we cannot afford to do otherwise. The best way for us to do that is to trust those who have brought us this far. The American Farm Bureau Federation wishes to go on record in strong support of congressional Agriculture committee chairs and leaders. We believe that through the leadership of Ag Committee leaders -- Chairman Lucas, Chairwoman Stabenow, Ranking Member Peterson and Ranking Member Cochran – working in conjunction with the committee conferees, we will get a farm bill done, and it will be a farm bill that works for all commodities and all regions. “We must move forward. It is time to let our leaders lead. The American Farm Bureau Federation will do what it can to help close ranks on any remaining issues -- for the good of the whole of American agriculture, consumers, our hard-working farm and ranch families and the rural communities they support.”
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The 33rd Fresh Produce Forum and Hall Forums address the latest questions, challenges and trends in the fresh produce sector Berlin, 3 December 2013 – Along with a complete market overview of all products and services across the entire fresh produce value chain, FRUIT LOGISTICA (5-7 February 2014) offers a top-notch conference programme. A series of conferences, seminars and panel discussions aims to keep FRUIT LOGISTICA trade visitors informed about the latest industry issues, challenges and trends. Taking place on the day before the trade fair opens (4 February), the 33rd Fresh Produce Forum at the ICC Berlin focuses on the theme: "Convincing the consumer – emotion at the point of sale". The programme of events for the following three days includes seven Hall Forums. Organised by FRUCHTHANDEL MAGAZIN (Dusseldorf), the lectures presented in the Hall Forum (Entrance Kleiner Stern, between Halls 18 and 11.2) include the following themes: "Competence in trade – how to impress your customers", "Water – scarce, valuable, indispensible" (5 February 2014), "Tomatoes – international production and consumption", "Russia – the impact of WTO membership" and "IFS Standards – News for the fruit & vegetable sector" (6 February 2014), "Sustainability – appearance and reality" and "Innovation and the fruit trade – adding value to the supply chain" (7 February 2014). All events will be simultaneously translated into German, English, French, Italian and Spanish. Outstanding achievements across all segments of the fresh produce trade will be honoured by special industry awards: FRUCHTHANDEL MAGAZINE Retail Award (4 February) and the FRUIT LOGISTICA INNOVATION AWARD "FLIA" (7 February). The FRUIT LOGISTICA 2014 conference programme at a glance 33rd Fresh Produce Forum Convincing the consumer – emotion at the point of sale Tuesday, 4 February 2014, 15:30 – 19:00, ICC Berlin, Hall 15.2 Consumers in supermarkets today are accustomed to being able to choose from an incredibly wide variety of fresh produce of outstanding quality. But it is not just the choice and the quality which matter. A successful fresh produce department needs to have the right atmosphere and "feel". Shoppers need to feel good about their shopping experience. We therefore also need to talk to them on an emotional level. Everyone knows that fresh fruit and vegetables count among the healthiest food products that money can buy. But consumption levels are disappointing. People are not always rational in their choices. More often they shop and buy according to their mood. And in the fresh produce department in particular, impulse shopping plays a key role. International experts specialising in consumer marketing and the dynamics of the retail chain take a close look at the heart and soul of today’s consumer. The 33rd Fresh Produce Forum includes the presentation of the FRUCHTHANDEL Magazine Retail Award 2014 as well as the results of a survey conducted by the GfK (consumer research company). The participation fee is EUR 85, which includes a three-day ticket to FRUIT LOGISTICA. Registration and details are available in the "Events" section on www.fruitlogistica.com. Exhibitor Forum Perspectives for the Development of Fruit and Vegetable Production and Marketing in Russia Presented by the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations Wednesday, 5 February 2014, 14:30 – 16:30, Großer Stern, Madrid Room (between Halls 10.2 and 11.2) The growing Russian consumer market currently depends to a significant degree on the import of specialty crops such as fruit and vegetables. The state program for the development of agriculture 2013 until 2020 therefore envisages also the development of value chains for fruit and vegetables by supporting investments in cultivating, storing, processing and marketing of these products. Hall Forum Competence in trade – how to impress your customers Wednesday, 5 February 2014, 11:00 – 12:00, Hall Forum (Entrance Kleiner Stern, between Halls 18 and 11.2) Know-how at the point of sale is more important than ever. Consumers are not just demanding in terms of quality and freshness. They also expect advice and service. A key challenge for the retailer, but also for the entire fresh produce trade – exporters, importers, wholesalers and service suppliers. To excel and even survive as a supplier today, you have to show your expertise. We take a close look at how to do this. Water – scarce, valuable, indispensible Wednesday, 5 February 2014, 15:00 – 16:00, Hall Forum (Entrance Kleiner Stern, between Halls 18 and 11.2) Water will be a crucial issue in agricultural production and the food chain in general in the future. On the one hand, the short supply of water in many growing regions of the world is already becoming a major problem. On the other, even in countries with no immediate supply problems there are many challenges in avoiding unnecessary water pollution – with direct consequences for plant protection and pest control. Finding answers to these challenges may become a matter of survival for growers and the entire supply chain. Tomatoes – international production and consumption Thursday, 6 February 2014, 11:00 – 12:00, Hall Forum (Entrance Kleiner Stern, between Halls 18 and 11.2) Tomatoes are universally one of the most popular vegetables of all among consumers. Experts take a look at global production and consumption as well as considering key trends for the future. Which varieties will be particularly popular? Consumers need to understand and appreciate the differences between the different varieties. How can the category be best explained and presented to them? Russia – the impact of WTO membership Thursday, 6 February 2014, 15:00 – 16:00, Hall Forum (Entrance Kleiner Stern, between Halls 18 and 11.2) After 18 years of negotiation, Russia joined the World Trade Organisation at the end of August 2012. New opportunities for international trade opened up overnight. How can the international fresh produce trade benefit from this development? What impact will this have on the problem of harmonising regulations on maximum residue levels and customs tariffs? IFS Standards – News for the fruit & vegetable branch Thursday, 6 February 2014, 16:30 – 18:30 (Exhibition grounds, entrance Kleiner Stern) Food safety and quality are key issues along the supply chain. About 15,000 companies worldwide turn to a standard from the IFS standard family line to guarantee the safety and quality of their products. Many retailers and processors prefer the IFS standards in order to ensure that their partners produce and handle safe and high quality products. For attractiveness and success in the sector: IFS Standards – News for the fruit & vegetable sector. Sustainability – appearance and reality Friday, 7 February 2014, 11:00 – 12:00, Hall Forum (Entrance Kleiner Stern, between Halls 18 and 11.2) Sustainability is a major topic in the media today and an important tool in corporate public relations. But even if sustainability has become much more than just a catchword for many, the consumer is still not always clear what it really means. What initiatives are already present on the market? How can the concept be better communicated to the consumer? Case studies from production through to retail show what sustainability means in practical terms and how it can best be presented to the consumer. Innovation and the fruit trade – adding value to the supply chain Friday, 7 February 2014, 11:00 – 12:00, Hall Forum (Entrance Kleiner Stern, between Halls 18 and 11.2) Consumers are by nature curious. New ideas and new products interest them and often lead to improved sales. For the producer or manufacturer, innovation often means better prices and better margins. But innovation behind the scenes can also make a key contribution to improved profits. We take a look, not just at new fruit and vegetable products, but also at innovations in different links of the supply chain. FRUIT LOGISTICA INNOVATION AWARD 2014 Friday, 7 February 2014, 14:30 – 15:00, passageway between Halls 20/21 The winner of the competition for best fresh produce industry innovation selected by trade visitors at FRUIT LOGISTICA 2014 will be announced. This press release is also available on the Internet: www.fruitlogistica.com