The days are long, and the years are short.
I often hear this phrase when parents refer to raising their children, but I think it has taken on a more inclusive meaning for us all over the course of the past few years.
In 2020, we talked about how wildly compressed and accelerated yet simultaneously lethargic and measured time felt; its currents ebbing and flowing in an unnatural manner. In 2021, we hit the gas and the brakes at the same time, trying to get our bearings back and leveling our expectations at every turn while other corners demanded our action. In 2022, time buckled like a cleanly cut joist and, for me, collapsed. I was unused to the amplified quickening of time and suddenly found myself thrust into a version of reality that felt familiar, again, though it had evolved into a way of life I was unprepared for.
This year has been a marvel to witness between rising inflation, heightening costs, dynamic climate events, consolidation, and a changing consumer that has become more skeptical but also more invested. 2022 has also been a year of deep connection, authenticity, reinvention, and gratitude, for both our team internally and, without a doubt, for this industry.
No matter how we grapple with time, relationships are everything, and fresh produce continues to be a testament to this statement.
As you may sense, this letter is deeply nostalgic, and it is also a thank you. The trials and tribulations of recent times have been a mirror, showing us who we are, where we have been, and where we can go. Through the looking glass, we will step into 2023 but not without the scars, smiles, and triumphs of an amazing year past.
While 2022 has been a year of heavy planning and strategy for us, it has also been a year of synchronicity. In its simplest sentiments, what I mean by this is coincidence and harmony that make for a larger unexpected meaning. In the traditional sense of the definition: the coincidental occurrence of events that seem related yet are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality. The stars aligned in a way that felt planned, but were also completely counter to planning.
I think of the Besties Awards and timing as an example of this: our inaugural event that celebrated those marketers and individuals who carry the torch of leadership and innovation with courage and strength. Yes, this would have been timely for any year we have been in business, but for reasons that feel hard to articulate, it made more sense than ever this year. And we hope you feel it, too.
We have grown up with you, watched you grow up, and seen the seasons change from the same porch. This year was one of welcomed new beginnings. And on the other side of every new beginning is another chapter closed, and ours—as an industry and personally—was especially turbulent. 2022 felt cumulative. A benchmark and a growing pain.
We honor you always. And in 2023, we carry this promise forward. This commitment feels like home—a place of strength and change we enter willingly and with gratitude.
Time percolates, then erupts like a flood most days. It is, in its own right, the pulse of our industry and the currency by which we gamble, stumble, fail, and succeed.
It is a beautiful thing to be a witness to such time passing—a participant, a student, and also a subject.
It is a beautiful thing to be here with you. Another year on the books. Another year older.
And, as always, another year wiser.
Happy New Year, my friends.