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Managing Business Risk in the Food and Beverage Industry

Times have changed considerably for food and beverage companies selling whole or minimally processed products. Most started out as one-person or family operations years ago and have grown into sophisticated vertically integrated enterprises offering one-stop niche brands, solutions, and services. Some are cooperatives representing hundreds or thousands of small members who harvest fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, coffee, tea, water, meats, or fish. Others are successful producers, processors, or distributors that have grown into sizable businesses in their own right. As companies expand into new markets, they must meet additional regulations and serve more demanding customers. This puts their ability to maintain profitability (and increase pay prices in the case of co-ops) at risk.

The greatest risks to this industry are:

  • Innovating new products, packaging, and application solutions to reach new markets without taking on more than they can effectively manage

  • Reliably, efficiently, and profitably delivering the freshest and highest quality products on a consistent basis to a multinational customer base

  • Achieving and maintaining full compliance of government and industry regulations for food, environment, and worker safety in the U.S. and abroad

Details

Times have changed considerably for food and beverage companies selling whole or minimally processed products. Most started out as one-person or family operations years ago and have grown into sophisticated vertically integrated enterprises offering one-stop niche brands, solutions, and services. Some are cooperatives representing hundreds or thousands of small members who harvest fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, coffee, tea, water, meats, or fish. Others are successful producers, processors, or distributors that have grown into sizable businesses in their own right. As companies expand into new markets, they must meet additional regulations and serve more demanding customers. This puts their ability to maintain profitability (and increase pay prices in the case of co-ops) at risk.

The greatest risks to this industry are:

  • Innovating new products, packaging, and application solutions to reach new markets without taking on more than they can effectively manage

  • Reliably, efficiently, and profitably delivering the freshest and highest quality products on a consistent basis to a multinational customer base

  • Achieving and maintaining full compliance of government and industry regulations for food, environment, and worker safety in the U.S. and abroad

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