It takes a village to get those red ripe watermelon or sweet ears of corn to the neighborhood grocery store at the right time for consumers. Producers must decide when to plant and pick crops, package produce, find buyers and select the right shipper to transport products to market. Hundreds of people and thousands of decisions are needed to get the fruits and vegetables people love to stores at peak freshness. And to make sure everything gets done right, many producers and handlers rely on trusted resources from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
AMS offers agricultural producers and handlers valuable service solutions that help make informed decisions during each phase of business.
Two members of the fruit and vegetable industry recently shared how vital AMS services are to their businesses. Filindo Colace, Vice President of Operations for Ryeco, LLC, and Thomas Kovacevich III, President of T.M. Kovacevich – Philadelphia manage operations at the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market. Both businesses source fresh fruits and vegetables from growers and supply fresh products for their customers.
Colace and Kovacevich find the AMS Market News, Terminal Markets Standard and Movement reports invaluable to their daily operations. Market News reports provide unbiased pricing information to help the agricultural industry evaluate market trends, make purchasing decisions, and evaluate product transportation costs. Ryeco and T.M. Kovacevich also depend on AMS services like Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) fair trading assistance, Auditing and Inspections to help protect their business investments.
“The guys we do business with are salesman just like us,” said Colace. “But because we understand and are protected by PACA, we are confident that our negotiated sales will be honored. AMS auditing and inspection services also assure us that the products we buy meet the quality we expect and the products we sell meet the quality our customers expect.”
Trust and familiarity are key to building strong business relationships. “As we market products to interested buyers, USDA’s impartiality is our most vital tool. Buyers recognize AMS as a credible, unbiased authority, and the certified reports we get from using AMS auditing and inspection services make doing business easier,” said Kovacevich.
AMS also offers a number of other services to assist farmers and handlers as they move produce from farm to market. The AMS Specialty Crops Program publishes a weekly Truck Rate Report and AMS’ Transportation and Marketing Program issues the Agricultural Refrigerated Truck Quarterly Report (AgRTQ). Available online and via our GovDelivery email subscription service, these reports provide vital insight into the U.S. regional refrigerated truckload movements, volumes and rates.
Decision-making can positively or negatively impact business activities and growth. These and other AMS services offer solutions that enable members of the agricultural community to make more informed decisions. To learn more about available AMS services, visit our website at www.ams.usda.gov.
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This was a very interesting article. I enjoyed reading the feedback from the applicant's at the Philadelphia Terminal Market. It’s always great to hear that we are meeting our goals as well as their expectations. It’s sometimes difficult to visualize how our services help or how far they reach in terms of providing quality produce to customers. I was unaware that AMS SCI conducts and publishes a Truck Rate Report and an Agricultural Refrigerated Truck Quarterly Report. These are great tools for the industry. Reliable resources of information is pertinent to any business, whether small or large.