Shoppers are looking for a greater variety of produce and they are looking for produce with specific production attributes. Older generations report a greater interest in produce that is locally sourced and grown in the USA whereas younger generations report having a greater interest in organic, sustainably grown, and hydroponic or greenhouse-grown produce, according to The Power of Produce 2022.
Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) operations, such as hydroponics and indoor farming, can help with meeting the needs of shoppers by providing a variety of fresh produce that is sourced locally. Leafy greens, microgreens and herbs are examples of produce that is grown indoors. While CEA is not new, the adoption for commercial food production has grown significantly in recent years as companies have increased investment in more sustainable food production.
Production of produce in a controlled environment help growers eliminate variability and avoid some factors that could have a detrimental impact on crop production (e.g., rain, drought, pests, etc.). CEA allows for year-long availability of local produce in regions that may not be ideal for growing produce.
Eight-five percent of Americans report having confidence in the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables they purchase in the grocery store (The Power of Produce 2022). The food industry is committed to maintaining a high-level of trust by safeguarding the fresh produce supply and assuring all produce is as safe as possible.
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