Despite campaigns for healthy eating, per capita consumption of vegetables has been falling, but fortunately for farmers, high prices have helped offset the decline in demand and have actually caused revenue to grow. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Vegetable Farming industry in its growing industry report collection.
Vegetables are a staple in the American diet and part of most consumers’ daily routine. Although per capita fruit and vegetable consumption has declined at an average annual rate of 0.2% during the past five years, rising prices and increased health consciousness have generally offset the trend. “Greenhouse growers have fared relatively well in the past five years because their product is of higher quality and is available year-round, which allows them to demand a premium rate,” according to IBISWorld industry analyst Kiera Outlaw. However, Vegetable Farming industry revenue is expected to fall marginally at an average annual rate of 0.5% during the five years to 2013, despite the 3.4% rise in 2013, to total $24.7 billion.
During the past five years, Vegetable Farming industry imports have increasingly supplemented domestic production, growing at an average rate of 7.4% per year to $8.1 billion. “Imported vegetables are usually priced lower than domestically grown varieties, which makes them attractive to downstream supermarkets and food service companies,” says Outlaw. Over the five years to 2018, however, imports of fresh vegetables are forecast to slow. As the domestic greenhouse cropping segment expands, the need for foreign-sourced, out-of-season vegetables will decrease.
The majority of farms, including those growing vegetables and melons, are small, family-run enterprises, and, thus, the industry has a low market share concentration. Farmers generally own and operate their farms supplementing family labor with hired hands only during key periods, such as harvesting season. On the other end of the spectrum are a smaller number of commercial farms, which dominate industry revenue and acreage. Even so, the production value is dispersed such that no single farm receives a large proportion of the industry’s total revenue. The distribution of employment is linked closely to production values, with the few commercial mega-farms employing the vast majority of laborers.
Drastic changes are not expected within the Vegetable Farming industry over the next five years. Revenue will continue to increase during the five years to 2018. Vegetable consumption has plenty of room to grow to meet dietary standards; IBISWorld expects that industry associations and government spending will help promote healthy eating through vegetable marketing. Economies of scale will be an increasingly important factor for farmers remaining in the industry. Downstream wholesale bypass will also put increasing pressure on the farming sector as superstores continue to source directly from producers. Farmers who cannot meet high quality standards at shrinking prices will be squeezed out of the Vegetable Farming industry.
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- Courtesy of PRWeb