Opinion: Social media is a driving force in today’s fresh produce environment

I started working at A&J Produce Corporation last May, thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the family business. My grandfather and his partners started A&J in 1977 at the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative Association located in the Bronx, NY.

Forty-five years later, our mission remains the same: a commitment to providing our customers with the highest quality, freshest produce at the best pricing. Since joining the team, not only have I realized how much I have to learn about the wholesale produce industry, but also how the next generation like me can bring a fresh (no pun intended) outlook to the table.

Being a millennial, I think this is relevant with regard to a new perspective on marketing, especially through a social media lens. In this digital era, we are so lucky to have platforms, such as Instagram, that are available to the public and our customers. The advantages of social media are of the utmost importance to the success of our business.

Produce wholesalers do much more than just sell, and rely heavily on cultivating and maintaining relationships with growers and shippers (at A&J, many of those relationships started when my grandfather opened the business).

Additionally, wholesalers often provide efficient and reliable logistics to ensure product is delivered on time and in the best condition, all while offering unparalleled 24/7 customer service.

Like many wholesalers, A&J continues to serve the best interest of its growers, shippers and customers alike — and this is where social media can highlight and promote our deep-rooted values.

Until recently, A&J Produce had zero social media presence. Zero.

I presented the idea of creating a company Instagram account, as it is arguably one of the most popular platforms for promoting business and furthering customer connections.

Additionally, it allows for a universally accessible platform in which our customers are encouraged to provide open communication and feedback.

Our Instagram account (@ajproducecorporation) publicises the quality of the products we sell and the fundamentals of our business.

Social media is a driving force in today’s produce environment. Creating a digital footprint allows wholesalers to share and promote unique core values at a large scale, all while gaining crucial metrics such as accounts reached, accounts engaged, and content interactions.

We are able to highlight our business in a way we were not able to before our social media involvement. As I continue to learn and grow within the company, I hope to provide a meaningful new perspective to help A&J Produce Corporation succeed in this ever-changing digital era.

About the Author: Stephanie Tramutola is the first female in the family to be working at A&J Produce Corporation, located in the Bronx, NY. The company was started in 1977 by her grandfather, John Tramutola, and his partners.

First published in Produce Business UK