leading the way to results for fresh food marketing

Time to redesign your company operating methods

By Ron Pelger

Everything a company does should always start by relating it directly to the customer. Nothing is worse than making radical operational cuts in an organization to the extent that it turns off customers. If cutting back key components of the operation to save a few bucks becomes more of a priority to the organization above anything else; it will promptly drive away customers. And sending them out the door means tossing away valuable profit in the process.
There is still an outmoded corporate culture lurking in the industry shadows wasting time and continually trying to reinvent the wheel of destruction. Are erratic cutbacks the result of executive decisions that are driving business into a sales decline?
A retailer once told me that their regular shipper had to cut their order quantities because the grower decided to reduce plantings as a means to save on production costs. This creates an adverse dilemma for retailers.
Maybe it’s time for your company to consider redesigning segments of the operations by shedding outdated and obsolete systems, methods, controls, and procedures. Nothing is etched in bronze anymore. The world is changing rapidly at this very moment.
Consider major companies that were at the top of their game just a few years ago and where they are today. Many are either in a struggle or going out of business. They tried to adjust, but near the end of their tumble when it was too little too late.
In redesigning your company, make sure to first consider all your strengths and skills. Then fine tune them by modifying programs that call for current day strategies. Be more creative to further increase your sales effectiveness. Sometimes companies can become too internalized allowing competition to take away a large slice of the sales pie.
All of a company operating components should be carefully examined for the redesigning blueprint. Don’t leave a single stone unturned.
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Organic Trails

by Melody Meyers,
Organics Matters

Do We Need Another Organic Label?

Last fall the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) made the decision not to prohibit hydroponic and container growing methods in organic production. This decision left some members of the organic community infuriated and galvanized. They vowed to dig in and create a label that meant something more than the USDA seal. 

After a few short months, the Real Organic Project (ROP) was formed by farmers and advocates who say that they are reclaiming the original meaning of organic.

Dave Chapman is a tomato farmer in Vermont with a long history of soil advocacy. He is a member of the newly founded Real Organic Standards Board, and he elaborated on the intent and strategy of the new organization.

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Xpert Update

Nick Pasculli
Introducing our latest FreshXpert, Nick Pasculli. Nick was born and raised in New Jersey but calls “the Salad Bowl” home. A true believer in the marriage of creativity and strategy, Nick is passionate about agriculture and the fresh produce industry. Nick’s expertise in PR and marketing, as well as his focus on technology, is an exciting addition to FreshXperts.
Nick founded TMD Creative after recognizing that small to mid-sized organizations, businesses, and nonprofits would benefit from the expertise of an agency that understands their needs.
Before establishing TMD, Nick developed his marketing prowess within the agriculture industry, working in senior marketing management positions for a handful of Fortune 500 companies.
Nick has served on several nonprofit boards and industry committees.
Nick’s active involvement in the fresh produce industry means he is no stranger to several of the FreshXperts members. Tim Vaux shared, “I’ve known Nick since we both served on the United Fresh Produce Association Board of Directors. He has always been a thoughtful and creative contributor to whatever project we were working on. I look forward to seeing the great things he will bring to our FreshXperts clients.”
“Nick brings to our group a broad base of experience in the use of technology as we brand and market our clients. We hope to assist clients in upgrading the look, feel, and content of print and digital materials to communicate an accurate reflection of who our clients are and what they offer as a supply chain partner.”  Anthony Totta, FreshXpert CEO.

View Nick's bio page here.

Ask the Xpert

Q: What is involved in Succession Planning?
A: If the business has a Strategic Plan in place, most of the work is done. A Strategic Plan involves designing an organizational chart to achieve the plan elements. Job descriptions are written and skill sets are matched to staff. A Succession Plan is developed to prepare for a change in leadership--i.e. transfer to next generation in the family--or preparing the organization for change in ownership. A plan may also need to be created in order to develop people (i.e. family members) to learn new skills to match requirements for certain positions.
This exercise needs to be facilitated by someone outside the organization.

Suggested Reading

Organic Produce Network, "Everyone Needs a FreshXpert Sometime"
Produce Retailer, "2018 Produce Retailer of the Year — Mike Orf with Hy-Vee"
The Produce Reporter, "Will Millennials Kill Bananas Too?"

FreshXperts is a consortium of consultants in the fresh industry. 
Experts in all aspects of the fresh industry–from Farm to Fork
Growers - Retailers - Distributors
Logistics - Foodservice -
Start Ups & New Ventures

For more information about our member FreshXperts, visit our team page
Anthony Totta: CEO; Business and Brand Development Specialist
Tim Vaux: Executive Leadership Specialist
Andrew Southwood: Project Management Specialist
Eric Bosveld: M&A; Agro-Economics Specialist
Ron Pelger: Retail Operations Specialist
Jennifer Lawson: Administration, Information Design
Dean Fahselt: New Product Development Specialist
Paul Grothe: Foodservice Procurement Specialist
Nick Pasculli: PR & Marketing

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