How Much Longer? Future GFVGA Leader Discusses Current Supply Chain Crisis

Clint Thompson Fruit, Georgia, Top Posts, Vegetables

By Clint Thompson

The future leader of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) believes the current supply chain crisis is temporary. At least that is what economists are saying and what his hope is.

“I think we’ll continue to see supply chain issues into next year for sure,” said Chris Butts, GFVGA director of legislative affairs who will become executive vice president on Dec. 1 following Charles Hall’s semi-retirement announcement. “But all of the economists that we talk to tell us this is temporary. We’ll see prices start to come back down on inputs and supplies, everything from fuel to fertilizer, and that we’ll start to work our way through those challenges. I hope they go by as quickly as they say. We are in this mess worldwide for two years, I hope it doesn’t take us two years to get out of it.”

Chris Butts

Various Challenges

Butts takes over an organization in an industry facing multiple challenges, from trade issues, to labor reform, to high input costs and availability.

“The good news is we’ve been working on these issues for years. I’m looking at it on two fronts. We’ve got everything from inflation to input costs to supply chain challenges that are killing our guys on their costs side. With all of that going up, it’s getting harder to do business. There’s more regulation. There’s greater costs,” Butts said.

“On the revenue side, trade and imports continue to drive those prices down. You add the two of those together, that’s not a sustainable future. We’ve got to address costs and allowing our guys to be more efficient and to do more with less. We’ve got to do something to address the revenue side and the pricing that they get. They’re price takers, not price makers.”

Butts joined the GFVGA team in 2020.