An update and outlook on the peach industry was presented at the 2018 Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference.
Kay Rentzel, managing director of the National Peach Council, spoke with AgNet Media following her presentation at the conference in January. She discussed topics such as promoting the peach industry and widening the scope of demographics of peach consumers.
“The National Peach Council is a council that represents the peach industry across the country, from producers to marketers to processors,” Rentzel said. The goal of the council is to continue “monitoring and keeping them informed of the issues and regulations that impact the industry.”
She said labor is currently the main issue that growers in the peach industry are facing.
“Without labor, they cannot operate their businesses,” Rentzel said. “They need laborers to prune their trees in the wintertime and thin their trees in the springtime … and obviously to harvest the fruit in the fall.”
She said a Nielsen study identified that the main group of consumers who purchase fresh peaches is over 55 years old. A goal of the National Peach Council is to increase the number of consumers who are purchasing peaches.
Serving peaches in the school system feeding programs is important for getting young people interested in consuming peaches. “We need to determine if there are ways that we can get the younger population … to consume more peaches,” she said.
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