Help Shape the Way AMS Meets the Evolving Needs of the Produce Industry

Christopher Purdy 
Associate Deputy Administrator, Specialty Crops Program

If you’re ready to talk about how AMS can continue to improve its service to you for the future, AMS is listening!

Industry leaders suggested AMS should form a working group to discuss how we can improve our fresh produce terminal market inspection services to provide you the best customer service possible.  So, that is what we are doing: we are forming the Fresh Produce Industry Inspection Working Group and looking for volunteers to give us input about how we can strengthen our service offerings and business processes to meet current and future market needs. Let’s discuss business challenges, solicit ideas and generate recommendations.

A century ago, produce industry leaders asked Congress to create a service within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help them reduce the logistical and business challenges of growing, shipping, and marketing produce across the country.  That request was the genesis of the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) specialty crops inspection, grading, and food safety programs, which continue to support the competitive, efficient and transparent marketing of specialty crops today.

We are proud of our service and history but we realize that the market is changing and we must continue to keep pace to remain a valuable partner to the specialty crops industry.  For example, digital imaging of products, technology, long-term business relationships, and shifting consumer tastes and distribution patterns are all changing the dynamics of both the market and USDA inspection programs. 

We invite all with a vested interest in our fresh produce inspection services to take part in these regular telephone- or computer-based discussions that will help us ensure we remain relevant and responsive to the ever changing needs of the produce industry.  Your participation on the working group will help us adapt our service offerings, enhance our technology, strengthen our service delivery.

If you are interested in volunteering to join the Working Group, please contact me at christopher.purdy@ams.usda.gov or call me at (202) 720-3209.