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Survey Reveals Price Volatility Is Biggest Produce Growth Hurdle

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Los Angeles-based ProducePay has released findings from a national survey that examined the day-to-day challenges of U.S. produce growers and buyers.

Survey findings highlight the immediate needs around improving efficiency and profitability in the produce supply chain, particularly as the industry contends with record inflation, rising production costs, supply chain disruptions and extreme weather events. These insights arrive just ahead of the IFPA’s Global Produce and Floral Show, the largest international produce industry expo.

A diverse group of produce growers and buyers across the U.S. participated in ProducePay’s national survey, and their input revealed a shared desire for greater access to trading partners and greater security in pricing across the produce industry. These common concerns were especially prevalent when asked about price volatility.

According to the survey’s findings, 48 percent of growers and 47 percent of buyers identified price volatility as one of the primary challenges to managing their day-to-day operations. Additionally, 68 percent of growers surveyed said that being able to reach fair pricing terms is their major pain point when it comes to trading.

“There’s an urgent need to bring more transparency and efficiency to all aspects of the global produce supply chain,” said Pablo Borquez Schwarzbeck, CEO and founder. “Underpinning many of the survey responses we received was a resounding plea for the kind of price stability that only happens when trading partners have direct access to one another and can reach more agreeable and profitable business terms.”

To offer its marketplace users more transparency into pricing data, ProducePay recently enhanced its pricing data visualization feature to allow buyers and growers to view pricing indexes based on transaction histories from its USDA and ProducePay marketplace transactions for more than 30 different commodities. With this new tool, users are able to see pricing and movement data to evaluate fair pricing of their own trading on ProducePay’s marketplace.

“As a new member on ProducePay’s platform, it has been very important to find a strategic partner that provides valuable information about the US market,” said Pablo Carlos Garcia Lopez, owner of Fresh4All in McAllen, Texas.

“The biggest challenge I face is being unsure of how to price my product and compete with other producers when conditions change from one day to the next. It has been extremely helpful to have a broader understanding of current pricing trends so that I am making more informed decisions when selling my Persian limes on the marketplace.”

While produce growers and buyers align on growth hurdles, some perspectives revealed in ProducePay’s survey diverged. These include their recommendations for the best way to eliminate post-harvest waste. The overwhelming majority of growers (57 percent) said that having access to more buyers was the most effective means of eliminating waste, while buyers identified greater transparency into a grower’s sustainability practices as their most effective tactic.

For more information about ProducePay or the services available on its marketplace, visit producepay.com.

To read more produce news from The Shelby Report, click here.

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