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U.S. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Marketing:
Emerging Trade Practices, Trends, and Issues


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In 2000, trade practices between fresh produce shippers and food retailers gained national attention. Trade practices include fees such as volume discounts and slotting fees, as well as services like automatic inventory replenishment, special packaging, and requirements for third-party food safety certification. Trade practices also refer to the overall structure of a transaction-for example, long-term relationships or contracts versus daily sales with no continuing commitment. This study compares trade practices in 1999 with those prevalent in 1994, placing them in the broader context of the evolving shipper/retailer relationship. Most shippers and retailers reported that the incidence and magnitude of fees and services associated with transactions has increased over the last 5 years.

Date: January 2001.

U.S. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Marketing [ PDF ]