A slow and turbulent recovery from the foodservice industry shutdown is helping growers limp through 2020.
Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia began his current position just over a year ago in October of 2019. “Nobody told me that my first year was going to be absorbed by a pandemic and the shutdown of the foodservice sector,” Puglia said. “It’s been a wild first year.”
The COVID-19 pandemic crippled a lot of producers when the foodservice sector was forced to shut down back in April. As we near the end of 2020, Puglia said producers are slowly recovering as industries open back up but the financial hit will remain for the year. “The early part of the year was tougher…that was as big of a disruptor as you could imagine. I think in the months since we have seen some settling out…that steadied everything in the marketplace somewhat but not entirely,” Puglia stated. “The good news is people still eat and as long as they still prefer healthy food our members will produce it for them. But that’s not to downplay the hit that many of them took this year. A lot of them are going to see a lot of red ink on their financials.”
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