October, 1998

Special Note

A Special Note

In the center of Albany, the capitol of New York State, stands a large cluster of modern buildings amidst much older architecture. The complex was built at the urging of then Governor Nelson Rockefeller to consolidate offices and redevelop downtown Albany. When he was challenged on the expenditure of so much money to house state employees, Rockefeller defended the grandiloquence of his plan by explaining that “Great architecture inspires great thoughts.”

The architecture of a magazine is its page design, and with this issue, PRODUCE BUSINESS unveils a new look. Like Rockefeller, we attempt to look good not for style’s sake, but so we can better inspire great thoughts.

PRODUCE BUSINESS has always been in the inspiration business. Unlike most magazines, indeed most businesses, we were launched not as a result of a market research study, but as a result of a belief in an idea: That the produce industry had grown in sophistication and required a venue for discussion of industry issues, for exploration of industry opportunities and for analysis of the industry’s future.

It is a satisfaction that is almost indescribable to those who have not known it, to see one’s brainchild blossom and grow as PRODUCE BUSINESS has.

PRODUCE BUSINESS was launched at the PMA convention in San Francisco in 1985. It wasn’t that long ago, yet it seems so far away. Maybe that is because Ken Whitacre and I showed up at Moscone Center with little more than a camera, some film and a briefcase filled with dreams. This year, however, we had to stop celebrating each individual’s birthday at the office because with all the people on staff we seemed to have a birthday every week.

Of course, if PRODUCE BUSINESS had its birth within the memory of many in the trade, its antecedents truly go back a long time. Though our focus is squarely on the future we write with sympathy for the complexity of the business that grows out of long involvement. My great-grandfather, Jacob Prevor, sold produce at the old Wallabout produce market in Brooklyn. My grandfather, Harry Prevor, was a wholesaler and auction buyer and for many years President of the United Fruit Buyers, back when the Washington Street market thrived in New York. My father, Michael Prevor, spearheaded the move to Hunts Point and built an import and export business that straddled the globe.

On a level far beyond what commercial prudence would have necessitated, we always have cared, deeply, about the way that industry perceived itself and the way others perceive those who toil in the trade.

The redesign of PRODUCE BUSINESS is a symbolic gesture, a way of reaffirming to you our commitment to be cutting-edge, reconfirming our commitment to make a difference and reconfirming our commitment to contribute to this industry.

There are so many people to thank: suppliers, our own company associates, our advertisers and, perhaps most especially you, the reader. After all, it is you who give meaning to all our work, who take abstract ideas and make practical realities.

I write at a time of some uncertainty. The stock market is troubled, our politics is unsettled, and the produce industry wonders how it will deal with the loss of Asian markets.

Yet, through good times and bad, through easy decisions and tough ones, the industry needs a place to work it all out. A place to think through the dilemmas that confront the trade. That is why PRODUCE BUSINESS exists.

That is why we are at your service. Now and tomorrow. That’s a promise.  pb