October, 1997

Special Note

Our Role In The Produce Trade

There are many kinds of satisfactions which life offers to those who choose to live fully. First must always come the satisfactions of family and friends — the quiet domestic rituals that infuse life with meaning and transform the often mundane acts of day-to-day life into actions of consequence.

Within the sphere of professional endeavor, however, there are few greater pleasures than seeing what one has planted grow and thrive. Surely, at base, this is the attraction of farming and gardening. To plant and watch it grow almost puts the planter in the place of the divine. Creator and nurturer of life. Heady stuff indeed.

In October 1985, PRODUCE BUSINESS magazine was launched at PMA convention in San Francisco. So, with this issue we celebrate an anniversary, a birthday, a milestone, and we do it in grand style. From a business perspective, the issue you hold in your hands is supported by more advertisers, investing more dollars, than any issue to date. From an editorial perspective, this issue is the most information-dense offering in the produce trade — where we write every word on every page, exclusively for you.

Normally, of course, every issue of PRODUCE BUSINESS is strictly devoted to helping members of the industry do their job or run their business better. Once a year, however, we set aside this one page to report to you, our readers, on the state of PRODUCE BUSINESS and to express our appreciation for all you do to bring the pages of PRODUCE BUSINESS to life.

Start-ups typically don’t succeed in industries with entrenched publications. Yet, PRODUCE BUSINESS has been an exception, growing and thriving for well over a decade. As a business publication we work to analyze what makes business successful, so I think it is reasonable to discuss why PRODUCE BUSINESS has grown and prospered.

To a large extent, it is because PRODUCE BUSINESS is a unique publication and its voice is a unique voice. Without it, the industry would be poorer.

The unique voice derives partly out of history, for PRODUCE BUSINESS was founded not merely as an abstract business venture but, rather, as a venture designed to not solely or even principally report on the produce industry, but instead to assist in elevating the industry. After all, the PRODUCE BUSINESS concept is at base a simple notion: That the fresh produce industry has obtained a level of sophistication in which old resources are simply inadequate to serve the need. We do not merely transcribe industry events; we help build an industry.

The unique voice also is a matter of courage. Time and again we have talked straight to the produce industry. We did this even when powerful segments of the industry would have rather we hold silent. We have spoken out even when we knew it might cost us advertising income. As such, over many years, we have built a priceless reputation as a trade publication that tells it straight.

In business, continued existence itself is a form of success. To merit the kind of respect that PRODUCE BUSINESS has come to enjoy is truly a success beyond measure. It also is a success for which we are very grateful.

Many deserve thanks on the occasion of this anniversary. Our suppliers are invaluable to helping us produce the top-notch product we publish. Our associates at the company now include full time personnel in six states and a contributor network across the globe. Not too long ago I could use this page to thank each one individually; now the numbers have grown too large and, in the year to come, the number will grow larger still.

Our advertisers, of course provide the vital financial support that makes all we do possible. Though, of course, we work hard to insure that our advertisers do well by promoting their products and companies within our own pages, in a very real sense our advertisers also perform an industry service by their support of the PRODUCE BUSINESS concept. Their financial commitments enable us to help the industry grow. So the entire industry owes them a vote of thanks.

Of course the greatest thanks, though, must go to you, to all of our readers. It is you who give importance to our work; you make the day-to-day chores of producing a magazine pregnant with meaning.

Much as a man working at the lowliest job is involved in a noble task when he works to support his family, so the drudgery of fact-checking and editing for the sixth time becomes almost noble when one is doing it for one’s compatriots.

All of us here at PRODUCE BUSINESS understand ourselves to be first and foremost produce people; we are in publishing merely as another route to play a role in the produce trade.

When my great-grandfather, Jacob Prevor, landed on these shores, he set up business in the old Wallabout market in Brooklyn selling produce as he and his ancestors had done for generations in Europe. When my grandfather, Harry Prevor, was a wholesaler and auction buyer at New York’s old Washington Street market, he was a part of the produce industry. When my father, Michael Prevor, moved the company to Hunt’s Point and made it a leader in the international trade of produce, he was playing his part in the industry. Now, with PRODUCE BUSINESS, it is my turn.

I have a pretty tough legacy to live up to. Yet we have achieved so much and my promise — the promise of all of us at PRODUCE BUSINESS — is simply that the best is yet to come. In the months and years ahead, we will do more, we will do it better and we will do it with that unique voice that PRODUCE BUSINESS has added to this trade.

To everyone in the business, thanks for making the past 13 years possible, and please accept our pledge of even greater service to the trade in the years to come.  pb