ID NEWS: Joint venture to launch category management initiative for foodservice produce

Willard Bishop Consulting, Barrington, IL, and The Fresh Approach, Orlando, a new consulting firm with produce expertise, have formed a joint venture to develop category management initiatives for foodservice produce suppliers.

The program will launch in November with a series of electronic seminars for grower-shippers, to be followed by collaboration initiatives with other supply chain partners such as distributors, comments Jim Hertel, senior vice president of Willard Bishop. "We will schedule a more public discussion at the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) conference, which will be held on October 20 in Orlando," he comments.

Hertel says he sees great potential for category management in foodservice produce, where little has been done so far. "Historically, there has not been the same level of resources as among packaged goods companies, and it has been hard to get point-of-sale data or uniform coding on these items."

Willard Bishop brings expertise through its joint project on foodservice category management with Technomic, Inc., and will build off this model, Hertel points out. The Fresh Approach, for its part, founded by William Watson, former president of the Orlando-based National Watermelon Promotion Board, brings a strong foundation of produce industry knowledge to the table.
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