The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has caused one of the most turbulent years for the produce industry in memory, but Weis-Buy Farms is adapting to make the changes necessary to address the needs of the industry now, and in the future.
“The produce industry is in such a fluid state of affairs right now. Things keep changing on a daily basis,” Chuck Weisinger, CEO of Weis-Buy Farms, Inc., based in Fort Meyers, FL, told The Produce News.
That is why retailers turn to Weis-Buy Farms for tomatoes, domestic peppers, Tropical Jewel imported Dominican Republic sweet peppers, and other produce items.
“Our contacts in America include the best shippers of consistent, quality produce available. Their history with our company of over 55 years has led to ease of solutions in helping resolve any glitches that may possibly occur,” Weisinger said.
Weis-Buy Farms can provide trucking for its customers, when they cannot arrange it for themselves. The company also handles billing to smooth the purchase process.
“We always ensure to explain our system and how we familiarize our customer base with how we operate and the basis of our ‘Farm To Customer’ process,” Weisinger said.
“When asked, we can entertain contracts with customers, depending on the terms of said contract, and we will tailor them to your needs,” he added.
Weisinger noted that Weis-Buy’s ROI metric has been a proven success over time and that company officials are available to help retailers 24/7 in good times and bad.
“That being said, we now face an unprecedented situation with the coronavirus outbreak affecting the fresh fruit and produce industry as it directly relates to our country as a whole,” Weisinger said. “The good thing is that American truckers have stepped up to the plate and are delivering the produce we have orders for to our customers. They and the rest of the supply chain are today’s heroes in this emergency.”
Weisinger noted that Weis-Buy Farms services many wholesalers who depend on restaurants for their livelihood.
“As most of these restaurants have moved to a take-out only mode, they have naturally seen a drop in business and are shifting ways to do business. Many of us are staying home and cooking. This has led to the rise in home delivery through new avenues – Uber Eats, Walmart delivery and Amazon are increasing their deliveries, and we may have a future produce business that is much different than what we have faced in the past,” Weisinger said.
“We need to stress fresh fruits and vegetables as one of the antidotes to congenital illness and to help the chains to market this produce with innovative ways by pairing them with other items to increase consumption,” Weisinger said. “This will lead to higher prices as the country gets back to normal, and the country’s stimulus package gets into the system, easing the financial stress that we have seen with the massive temporary layoffs due to the present emergency.”
On the supply front, Weisinger noted that warmer than usual weather in Florida has pushed the crop harvest forward and he expects to see a shorter availability of both tomatoes and peppers towards the end of May.
“We are resilient. We have survived war, pestilence, floods and hurricanes. We just need to keep our optimism high and our faith in the future at its present level,” Weisinger said.