Ag News: Older Americans Challenge Produce
**The graying of the U.S. may prove challenging for the fresh produce industry.
According to thepacker.com, by 2050 the population of people 65 and over will be 83.7 million, nearly double 2012.
In 2017, the Bureau of Labor statistics reported the 65-plus consumer spent an average of $287 on fresh fruits annually, 9% below the median of $314 and lower than any age group except under 25s.
For fresh vegetables, the 65-plus consumer spent an average of $250 per year, also 9% below the average.
**Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue has announced an update on the implementation status of the 2018 Farm Bill.
President Trump signed this Farm Bill into law on December 20th, and the USDA began implementing key programs. In addition, USDA held several listening sessions with stakeholders and the public specific to each agency’s mission.
Perdue says “We have listened to our stakeholders and consulted with our customers. USDA is committed to focusing on responsiveness and putting our customers first.”
**The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into allegations chicken processors, including Tysons, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Sanderson Farms conspired to fix prices.
Agweb.com reports, the investigation significantly escalates pressure on the poultry processors, which have been fighting price-fixing allegations by consumers, distributors, grocery chains and food companies, including Conagra Brands and Kraft Heinz Co.
Tyson, Pilgrim’s and Sanderson alone control almost half of the U.S. chicken market.