Beyond COVID

Departments - Editor’s Letter

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In uncertain times, CEA growers are looking to their strengths to stand out in the marketplace. With the ability to keep money local, reduce the supply chain, solve logistical challenges and develop new varieties, indoor growers are able to offer many things outdoor farmers can’t.

When the Great Recession hit in 2008, many looked to success stories of companies that overcame and survived the Great Depression. Names like Hewlett-Packard and Polaroid came up often in news stories as proof that there are still ways to succeed in even the hardest economic situations.

As we look at another downturn in the market, many are looking at those stories of innovation again. We're again seeing examples that there are ways to invest wisely, even in the midst of a crisis, if you can find something people really want. For example, in the midst of the Great Depression, sales of refrigerators rose significantly as the new technology became mainstream in U.S. households.

Many growers are looking at what they can do well that others can’t, whether it’s marketing, varieties of flavors and textures, collaborative relationships or freshness. Produce that’s tough to grow outdoors, like berries, could soon be moving indoors as innovators look at ways to offer consistency in flavor that field growers struggle with.

The great thing about this industry is that people will always need to eat, so the market for produce may be changing, but it will never be obsolete. Businesses are innovating and finding new ways to capture that market, and looking at ways they can seize the opportunities that come with change to position themselves for growth in the future.

Kate Spirgen, Editor | kspirgen@gie.net | 216-393-0277