As consumers continue to learn about the health benefits and versatility of fruits and vegetables, demand keeps growing for fresh produce options in grocery and retail stores, and on restaurant menus. This can bring a lot of fresh opportunity for your business, which means your business might benefit from relationships with global companies in our industry.
Produce shows and expos are popping up across the globe, and they can be a great place to grow relationships with industry peers and companies located around the world. Here are three things to keep in mind when going global in the fresh produce industry.
- The global landscape differs from the domestic landscape, so take advantage of every opportunity to network with the global companies you work with. Consider language barriers and cultural differences, but focus on the experience of sharing information with the growers, packagers, and others your company collaborates with.
- Similarly, remember that a company that might be considered competition in one region could be an ally in another. Collaboration is important in this industry—we’re a tightknit group, even globally-speaking—so spend some time tending to your relationships with other companies.
- Planning ahead is key. When the growing season ends in the Northern Hemisphere, things are just beginning in the Southern Hemisphere. How will changing growing regions, along with import and export requirements and customs, tariffs, and product controls, impact your fresh produce supply chain? Creating a roadmap of your business’s needs throughout the year can be a helpful tool to navigate the global aspect of the produce industry. Use that roadmap as a point of reference as you reach out to the companies you work with and proactively plan for your anticipated needs together.
Keeping a global perspective is good for business, but it’s also good for our future. What are some of the ways you’ve grown healthy relationships in our global produce industry? Share your experiences in the comments section.
Editor’s note: This blog post originally ran in 2015. Since it’s a relevant topic, we wanted to share it with you again.