Jenise wrote:I've always presumed, particularly with something kind of hard-skinned like citrus fruit, that whatever I buy has been weeks, or months, away from the tree.
The infamous Wal-Mart instituted an inventory control system years ago that has been very successful for them and one of the main reasons you are seeing so many of the older grocery store chains either going out of business or being gobbled up by larger chains ... it's called "just in time inventory" ... Wal-Mart actually buys VERY little of the produce or anything else they sell themselves ... instead they "partner" with suppliers ... they demand that those suppliers give them "contract pricing" over a given time period ... also those "partnerships" are mostly very long term, i.e., years or even decades ... one of Wal-Mart's demands is that the supplier "manage' their inventory ... that means "don't EVER allow me to run out but DON'T allow me to inventory more than just a day or two or in the most extreme cases more than a week's worth of inventory ... just think what that means to Wal-Mart - in most cases they've sold the product and collected the money LONG before they've ever paid the supplier for the product ! It's one of the ways Wal-Mart is able to offer such cheaper prices than other retailers which do not practice "just in time inventory" ... and believe me - other retailers, grocery or otherwise are trying to copy their system in order to stay in business and compete with Wal-Mart but because Wal-Mart devised the system, the other retailers are WAY behind the curve and trying desperately to catch up ... many in the meantime are going out of business because they can't catch up fast enough ... I started with Wal-Mart over ten years ago ... I now supply almost a third of all the Wal-Mart's in the U.S. ! Between 20 and 25 percent of EVERYTHING I pack I sell to Wal-Mart ...
But the food service business is HUGE, too ... my second largest domestic customer after Wal-Mart is SYSCO ... and my third largest customer is the largest importer of fresh produce in Japan ... among just the three, between 50 and 60 percent of everything I grow, pack, and sell is sold to those three !
But the galloping rising cost of production, packaging, and shipping for the American farmer in the U.S. is forcing both domestic and export buyers "offshore" to foreign producers who can sell their product cheaper because they don't have the same costs I do, much less the cost of government regulations ... me and every other farmer in the U.S. is being squeezed ... rising costs here and trying to compete with cheaper foreign product ... believe me when I say that the American farmer is going the way of the 8 track tape - AWAY ! We are already overly dependent on foreign goods, including food, now ... when the "crash" comes, and believe me - it's coming, consumers across this country are going to wake up one morning and realize it has become a full time job just to buy what we know as "staples" today to keep our families fed, clothed, and everything else ...
Sorry the explanation turned into a mini-rant ... sometimes too much knowledge is dangerous !