Global suppliers are noting differences in approaches towards food safety, specifically between Europe and North America. Kurt Cornelissen, independent crop advisor, says that European consumers expect no residues of plant protection products in food whereas American consumers expect no pathogens. Microbiological contamination from listeria, E. coli or salmonella are part of the concerns in the American marketplace.
That’s a key point that drives both production and packaging systems.
Hydroponic lettuce, for example, is a product that fits both geographic markets. Cornelissen predicts growth opportunities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
At present, most of the lettuce is grown in open fields in the western United States. But the disadvantage is huge costs to truck produce to the heavily populated eastern coast.
In the future, as trucking costs and carbon imprints take their toll, consumers may opt for more locally grown, hydroponically grown lettuce. That’s a potential opportunity for the greenhouse industry.
Source: FreshPlaza.com June 27, 2019.