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How do the produce and floral industries stack-up against employee expectations?

Tuesday, 7 June 2016 | Posted in Industry Talent by Renee Harrison

Retaining talent is vital to your organization’s success, but how do you create a culture where employees feel valued, are given growth opportunities, and feel connected to the bigger picture? The produce and floral industries are generally in line with employee expectations, as defined by Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) compared to the employee practices in the produce and floral industries as defined by the Center for Growing Talent by PMA in their commissioned research performed by AgCareers. Find out how employees rank financial, skill and relationship benefits and how the industry is meeting those expectations.

Retention is more than competitive pay and health insurance benefits. It is about relationships, recognition, and professional development but identifying what incentives and best practices attract and keep the top talent can be difficult to pin-point.

NOTE: The 2013 survey by SHRM polled about 600 working adults on employee satisfaction. The survey offers insight on employee satisfaction and best practices for retaining the most valued employees.  

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2016 Tech Trends

Monday, 6 June 2016 | Posted in Technology by Renee Harrison

Technology in the produce and floral industries and what it means for you

by Dr. Bob Whitaker, Chief Science and Technology Officer

Are you ready? The data really are staggering. The World Health Organizations says that we will have nine billion people on Earth by 2050. Of those nine billion people, 70% of them will live in urban areas and the middle class will continue to expand. It has been estimated that the middle class will reach 4.9 billion people by 2030. Experts tell us that the ramifications of these data are that food production will need to double over the next 30 years to accommodate our expanding global population. Yet, we face these extraordinary challenges at a time when the availability of new farm land is in rapid decline, climate variability is a daily news item and natural resources like water are becoming more precious. Indeed, at the November 2015 California State University at Monterey Bay’s Greater Visions conference, Silicon Valley insider Tom Rolander stated that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be impacted by water scarcity in a world where 70% of the water goes to agriculture.

Read about how technology solutions are addressing these pressing industry challenges and more in the 2016 Tech Trends paper, focusing on the following trends:

  • We are in a period where there is a significant convergence of technologies. Our ability to generate, collect and analyze data through ever-increasing computer computational capacity is coinciding or enabling equally impressive achievements in the worlds of biology and genetics, sensor technology, robotics, communications, behavioral modeling and logistics.
  • The power of the consumer cannot be underestimated as they have the ability to change industries overnight. Access to information has made transparency not a cost of doing business but foundational. The concept of product quality includes communicating corporate responsibility issues such as sustainability, social causes, environmental policies and ethical treatment of workers.
  • The aforementioned pressure to produce more food with less impact on dwindling natural resources will force the produce industry to look at new seed technologies and production techniques to provide greater yields using fewer inputs. This increase in demand will also require innovation in product creation and processes.
  • Consumer preferences in where to reside are contributing to worldwide urbanization that is changing not only purchasing power but also where and how production is taking place. In the last few years we have witnessed the growth of protected agriculture spanning the spectrum from covering field-grown berries and grapes to traditional greenhouse production to vertical farming where inner-city buildings are being converted to vegetable production utilizing an array of new technologies to achieve commercial-scale production amidst urban population centers.
  • There is a focus on reducing waste and becoming more efficient across the produce supply web. The collection and analysis of data, the sophistication of sensors that can monitor the movement and distribution environment of products, the continued emergence of robotics and the gathering of consumer behavioral data are driving a smarter, more resilient produce industry.
  • Satisfying the needs of the consumer is an industry-wide endeavor to ensure consumers are receiving safe product where and when they want it. Collaboration throughout the supply chain is crucial in today’s environment where the pace of change and the adoption of disruptive technologies are faster than ever before.
  • The increasing awareness of technology and the growing sophistication of the produce industry are creating a demand for a new generation of employees that are tech-savvy, innovative and ready to embrace change to grow the industry.

Read the full Tech Trends report now.  

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Color Affects Mood, Behavior in Marketing

Monday, 6 June 2016 | Posted in Marketing by Renee Harrison

Consumer color preferences are deeply rooted in emotional responses that seem to lack any rational basis, yet the powerful influence of color is hard to deny. This is especially true in the floral industry where purchases not only reflect interior design color trends but also personal messages associated with gift giving. This article takes a look at the importance and meaning behind color in the Western Hemisphere.

We all know that color is a catalyst for affecting mood and behavior in marketing. In fact, numerous studies confirm the correlations between colors and behavior to aid marketers in engaging consumers and ultimately into buying their products. (Keri, The Science of Colors in Marketing and Web Design) Here are some quick facts about color (Jill Morton):

  • 92.6% of survey respondents state visual factors are most important when purchasing products. (Secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo 2004)
  • People make a judgment about a product within 90 seconds of initial viewing;
  1. Between 62% and 90% of assessment is based on color.(CCICOLOR - Institute for Color Research)
  2. Color increases brand recognition by 80% (Source: University of Loyola, Maryland study)
  3. Ads in color are read 42% more often than the same ads in black and white

Colors enhance the appearance of merchandising and influence consumer behavior making it critical to consider the impact of the colors we use on our target audience. For example, fast food restaurants decorate with vivid reds and oranges to encourage diners to eat quickly and leave. Color also affects shopping habits. Impulse shoppers respond best to red-orange, black and royal blue while those who plan to stick to their budgets respond best to pink, teal, light blue and navy. Traditionalists respond to pastels: pink, rose, sky blue. (June Campbell, The Psychology of Color in Marketing) 

  • Pale blue: Light-hearted
  • Blue: Honest, trustworthy, conservative, caring, serious, peaceful, calm, relaxed, tranquility, reliable, belonging, coolness
  • Dark blue: Corporate
  • Indigo: Serious, compassionate
  • Turquoise: Caring, peaceful, calm, relaxed
  • Green: Eco-friendly, caring, compassionate, peaceful, calm, relaxed, safe, optimism, harmony, wealth, luck, nature, fresh, cool, growth, abundance
  • Red: Passion, exciting, excitement, strength, sex, speed, danger
  • Dark red: Corporate
  • Orange: a risk-taker, affordable, happy, social able, energy, warmth, ambition, enthusiasm, creative, playfulness, vibrant
  • Yellow: Playful, light-hearted, happy, lively, energetic, warmth, sunshine, cheer, happiness
  • Pink: Caring, compassionate, femininity, love, romance, tenderness, soft, sweet, nurture, security
  • Magenta: Caring, compassionate, creative, imaginative, creative, imaginative
  • Black: Elegant, high quality, luxurious, sophisticated, powerful, corporate, authority, seductive, mystery
  • Silver: Elegant, high quality, luxurious, sophisticated, prestige, cold, scientific
  • Grey: Conservative, traditional and serious
  • Gold: high quality, luxurious, prestige, expensive
  • Purple: high quality, luxurious, creative, imaginative, noble, power, wealth, royal, spirituality, dignity
  • Pastels: light-hearted
  • Brown: Solid, dependable, confident
  • White: Purity, cleanliness, sterility, virginal, clean, youthful, mild.

Colors have different meanings for different cultures, so the preferences of your target audience should be considered when you plan your design. While different cultures hold different associations for many colors, the Western meanings are becoming more universal as markets become global. Personal preference, experiences, upbringing, cultural differences, context, etc., often affect how people respond to colors. (Gregory Ciotti)

Blue is the most popular color for men and women. Women list purple as a top-tier color, but men do not list purple as a favorite color. Additional research on color preferences show that when it comes to shades, tints and hues, men seem to prefer bold colors while women prefer softer colors. Also, men were more likely to select shades of colors as their favorites (colors with black added), whereas women were more receptive to tints of colors (colors with white added).

While a large majority of consumers prefer color patterns with similar hues, they favor palettes with a highly contrasting accent color. In terms of color, this would mean creating a visual structure consisting of base similar colors and contrasting them with accent complementary colors or tertiary colors. The names of colors matters as well. Fancy color names are preferred. For example, mocha was found to be significantly more likable than brown. The more unusual and unique color names can increase the intent to purchase. (Aesthetic Response to Color Combinations)


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