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    Automating Ag

    Technological innovation continues to transform agriculture, and in the twenty-first century goals have evolved as growers seek to cope with labor shortages, reduce water usage, better target chemical applications, and increase efficiency. Hear the latest from those developing solutions and the broad impact of their real-world applications.

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    Is Up Really Down?

    A recent study caught my attention stating that over the past four years, produce sales at retail in California grew 14 percent. And over the same period, the average checkout receipt rose 22 percent in dollar amount, driven principally by higher-priced organic and processed items (including fresh juice). On the surface, these numbers would be received quite positively, especially at retail. Sales and margin are key matrices by which a buyer’s performance is measured. Each year, a buyer compares his/her performance to the same period the previous year.

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    Great Grapes

    For table grape growers, it’s both an exciting and daunting time to be in the industry: consolidation and corporate farming are replacing multigenerational family farms; old vineyards are being replaced with new varieties; and innovations in packaging are producing opportunities and challenges for retailers. What’s more, the holy grail of grape growing—extending the season—is finally becoming a reality as new varieties and growing practices take hold. Read on to stay current with the fast-paced evolution of this extraordinary fruit segment.

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    Running Behind

    Late arrivals of fresh produce disrupt the flow of business and decrease the value of product, turning what was supposed to be a profitable transaction into a carrier claim. With the advent of electronic data loggers putting additional time pressure on the supply chain, we thought it would be a good time to review late claims and the fundamental issues that arise when a shipment arrives late.

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    Credit Technology

    The following article is reprinted from the November/December 2017 edition of the Western Grower & Shipper magazine, published by Western Growers Association. For additional information on how accounts receivable aging reports can improve credit accuracy and business decisions, contact the Blue Book Services customer service team at customerservice@bluebookservices.com.

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    The New World of Retail

    In the highly competitive new world of retail, fresh fruits and vegetables have the opportunity to play a much more pivotal role. Retailers of all types—traditional grocers, deep discounters, club stores, ecommerce platforms, and even convenience stores—have been pushed into a fierce battle for foot traffic and market share amid changing consumer shopping habits and shrinking margins.

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    Here Comes the Sun – Houston Bounces Back

    You’ve heard it before—when it comes to size, just about everything is bigger in Texas.

    As a big, bustling city full of consumers eager to get their five servings a day and a major market for millions of pounds of fresh produce from Mexico, you might think Houston is home to multiple thriving terminal markets. Given the metropolitan area’s reach and high population, it could support at least two markets, like Boston or Detroit, where each city has two wholesale markets to serve the needs of their respective regions.

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