Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ohio outbound

I enjoyed speaking at the Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association Congress yesterday.My topic focused on trends for 2009, including the impact of recession on the fresh produce industry, local marketing and what's going on with organic demand. For me, particularly, it was a chance to talk to a few growers and get an insight into their world. Of course, direct to consumer marketing and local food was a big topic at the show.

There was some discussion about the challenges small farms face as they are expected to conform to the food safety and traceability requirements put on much larger firms.

I talked to a couple of growers about the labor market, and they mentioned the long standing relationships they have with immigrant workers who came back to their farms every year.One noted there appears to be more inquiries from immigrants looking for work.

Right now I'm in Cleveland wondering if my outbound Southwest flight, routed through Chicago, will get off on time.

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