Results of a survey conducted in June by the Produce for Better Health Foundation regarding the idea of a National Fruit & Vegetable Research & Promotion Board are in, but the low response rate indicates that more outreach is needed before a second survey is conducted.
The foundation e-mailed an electronic survey to growers, shippers, processors and importers on the topic of a national research and promotion board.
Despite extending the survey deadline by an additional week (for a total of three weeks), only 248 people of the 3,104 who received the survey responded, for an overall response rate of 8 percent.
While this response rate indicates a lack of statistical significance in most areas, the survey did offer some interesting points of insight:
* Overall, 22 percent of respondents indicated they are in favor of the promotion board, while 31 percent said they are opposed and 47 percent are undecided about the concept.
* Almost half of respondents (45 percent) said they had not heard about the promotion board proposal prior to receiving the survey.
* Forty-six percent of respondents hold a recognized consumer brand and 42 percent already pay some form of promotional assessment, but there were no notable differences in support or opposition to the promotion board among those who did or did not have a brand name and those who did or did not currently pay an assessment.
* Those who sell a small assortment of fruits and vegetables, or only one type, are more in favor of the promotion board than those who sell many different kinds of fruits and vegetables.
* No clear correlation can be made to a company's size and its support or opposition to the promotion board concept.
"Between the low survey response rate and the fact that so many who did respond had not heard about the promotion board concept prior to the survey, PBH outreach about the proposed promotion board will continue prior to a second survey being fielded," Paul Klutes, director of brand sales for C.H. Robinson and chairman of the foundation's board of trustees, said in a press release. "As originally scheduled, the PBH executive committee will meet in late October to review next steps."