We are just one phone call from being brought to our knees.
Mac Riggan told me this one early morning in late November of 2023 as we talked about apples and his 30 years in the industry. The vulnerability of the human condition is what he was referring to, beautiful and terrifying in its precariousness, but also its resilience. How one moment we can be smooth sailing and the next, a storm brings us to our knees.
The lesson for me that morning was the importance and impact of reaching across the larger void of disconnect still prevalent after the pandemic, and seeking to connect with another human. Inevitably, this is where conversations go with Mac. There is always the business of it, but his ability to create meaningful relationships is what makes him an amazing human and also an amazing professional. Lucky for him, a connection does not take much effort—he is simply himself.
As we hung up the phone, I opened a page on my laptop and let my mind pick up where the conversation left off. Leaving me once again in awe of our industry—which is even more susceptible to the high-stakes gambling tailored to a clock that never stops ticking. That possibility of a single phone call—more frequent among these friends. Fresh produce is full of those weathering elements: favorable and unfavorable market conditions—depending on who you ask—natural events, financial gains and losses, and costs that seem to hold many companies on a razor’s edge.
I am sure, if you ask Mac, he did not mean to send me down this path of thought—but I thank him nonetheless.
We have had a year of tremendous loss but also unprecedented strides for many companies.
New faces and old friends grace this issue, and I feel like it is the sum of a perfectly imperfect year. Now, as we open February and the call of 2024, I read through these pages of The Snack in a new light. Far from effervescent but full of hope. Liken it to a harvest, buoyed by successes and also graced by challenges. Is there a season without them?
Despite the hurdles that attempt to bring us to our knees, and because of the outcomes that bring us great joy—we meet often and with purpose.
Let’s raise our glasses to the successes of the day, and the stories that make each of us stronger.
We welcome you, 2024.