PRODUCE -- IT'S NO LONGER A CASE OF 'GROW AND SELL'

Produce used to be a pretty straightforward business. As a commodity department, it traditionally got very little assistance on the sell side. Retailers basically carried the ball -- they estimated how much they needed, and then set prices and created their own promotions to move it out. There were no grower/shipper alliances or commodity boards to supply category data, point-of-purchase signs or

Produce used to be a pretty straightforward business. As a commodity department, it traditionally got very little assistance on the sell side. Retailers basically carried the ball -- they estimated how much they needed, and then set prices and created their own promotions to move it out. There were no grower/shipper alliances or commodity boards to supply category data, point-of-purchase signs or promotional ad materials.

Today's produce section of 600-plus stockkeeping units is a des

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