Weis-Buy Farms Inc. is part of the article 'Wise Guys At Weis-Buy Predict Holiday Rebound', written by Chip Carter, published by The Produce News, November 09, 2009.

Despite a late start to the Florida fall season, the brain trust at Weis-Buy Farms is hopeful of a solid market over the holiday season that could perhaps even signal the beginnings of a wider-spread economic recovery.

President Chuck Weisinger said there is “not a lot” of squash or tomatoes in the early going due to heavy early rains followed by unseasonably high heat. Most product will have some systemic or surface damage, Mr. Weisinger said, “This fall, nothing’s going to be perfect this fall.”

Mr. Weisinger said that less product early is not necessarily bad news. “Had we hit with product right now we’d have some flat markets,” Mr. Weisinger said. “There were no hurricanes, there was a decent weather in California , and hot-house product is still around in abundance.”

Mr. Weisinger told The Produce News Oct. 22 he expected increased demand to arrive along with increased yields the first week of November. He said consumers have become more cautious in their buying habits, but that after months of gloomy economic forecasts, many are ready to stop listening to bad news.

Since early spring, the Weis-Buy has seen clients buying less product more often, a trend the company believes will continue. 

“In the United States , we’re not buying anything we don’t have to have. Instead of buying four tomatoes, Mama Housewife is buying one.” Mr. Weisinger said.
But, “We (Americans) have a different attitude now – propel have been listening to gloom and doom so long they’re just not listening any more,” Mr. Weisinger said. That being the case, “I think you’re going to see some increased buying by Thanksgiving,” he said. Market rebound, “if it happens,” will being around Nov. 5 and continue through Christmas.

Weis-Buy salesman Mark Weisinger agreed with his brother. An increasingly “optimistic attitude could be the accelerator for more demand,” he said. “I think Americans are sick of negativity. I for one just walk away from it.”

Even with a solid domestic market, Chuck Weisinger said the produce industry said Florida farmers in particular need to broaden horizons.

“We need to market ourselves as Floridians, as Americans, not only as providing local product, but also the safest product in the world,” Chuck Weisinger said. “We’ve got a product that will carry overseas. I think the cheap dollar will help us abroad. I think we’re going to be able to go into foreign markets more than before.”

That expansion cannot come at the expense of local markets, he said. “We need to be selling Florida flavor – and safety. We need to market to ‘locovores,’ “gourmands who demand local produce for freshness and flavor.

Added Weis-Buy salesman Mike Shapiro, “There’s a different definition of fresh for a chef than for a consumer. Chefs want produce that’s no more than two days old. Chefs’ definition of freshness is very different from consumers and marketers of produce.”

Said Chuck Weisinger, “The bottom line is, our focus needs to be on local (and) American product that looks good and tastes good, and we need to market ourselves as being the safest produce in the world. That’s what it’s all about – safety and flavor.”

Weis-Buy Farms Inc. is part of the article 'Wise Guys At Weis-Buy Predict Holiday Rebound', written by Chip Carter, originally published by The Produce News, November 09, 2009.