PACA is your partner in the produce industry. Through its education, mediation licensing, and enforcement services, PACA provides financial protection for produce businesses.
Accurate and timely information, access to new markets, and financial protection are critical to the success of any business. In the produce industry, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides services to cover all three of these items.
By providing current price and volume information, AMS Market News helps produce businesses, transportation companies, and others make informed decisions. In response to user requests, we created the Custom Average Tool (CAT). This new tool makes it easy to view average price trends over a period of time, select a range of data desired, download data in a spreadsheet, and much more. Choosing which varieties or products to carry and what the price levels might be at a given time of year are easier for a wholesaler to determine when they can easily visualize average price trends compared to movement in a dashboard. The CAT is now prominently displayed on our Fruit and Vegetable Market News Portal. Read more »
A vendor places tomatoes into a plastic bag for a customer at a Maryland farmers market. Many beginning producers use farmers markets as the gateway to direct marketing opportunities. Photo by Elvert Barnes
This week we’ve celebrated farmers markets as a vibrant segment of U.S. agriculture that offers a unique and personal way to connect producers and consumers. We highlighted decades of farmers market participation, updated the status of farmers markets across the U.S., offered an example of innovation in the lessons learned by a market in Kentucky, and explained how structure and function interact through farmers market architecture. Now, with National Farmers Market Week coming to a close tomorrow, we thought we should share some perspective on how farmers markets fit into the larger local and regional food landscape. Read more »
The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently held its first Spanish-language webinar: An Introduction to PACA – In Spanish. Pat Romero, Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) Western Regional director, introduced participants to the PACA Branch and discussed how it protects the produce industry.
Every day, PACA receives inquiries from produce companies requesting assistance to handle problems such as interpreting inspection certificates, settling contract disputes, and addressing bankruptcy problems. The branch promotes fair trading practices in the fruit and vegetable industry by establishing and enforcing a code of fair business practices and by helping companies resolve their disputes. Read more »
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently became a participant in the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Internship Program, which brings students to Washington, DC, to gain valuable working experience. This is the first year that our agency has participated in this program.
AMS is utilizing our relationship with AAPD to create a more diverse workforce, one that includes more employees with disabilities. We understand the importance of designing employment practices that consider the needs of all employees. A diverse workforce introduces everyone to unique perspectives that ultimately help us find innovative approaches to solving problems and solidifying our business model. This is one of the ways AMS can continue to provide services that benefit everyone in the greater public. Read more »
The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is excited about one of our upcoming webinars. To date, AMS Fruit and Vegetable Programs has delivered nearly ten free online webinars for fruit and vegetable growers, handlers, and distributors of all sized operations. The webinars have been a big success, with an average of nearly 200 attendees benefiting from the extensive knowledge of AMS employees. So what’s got us so excited this time? On June 23, AMS will deliver our first ever Spanish language webinar.
The demographics of the U.S. agriculture industry are changing. According to the 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture, there has been a 14 percent increase of farm operators reporting their ethnicity as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino origin. This segment is the second highest of all ethnic groups operating in agriculture. To meet the needs of our Spanish speaking customers in the U.S. and abroad, Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) employee Pat Romero will deliver “An Introduction to PACA – In Spanish.” Read more »