Produce is a generalized term for many
farm A farm (also called an agricultural holding) is an area of land that is devoted primarily to agricultural processes with the primary objective of producing food and other crops; it is the basic facility in food production. The name is used f ...
crop A crop is a plant that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. When the plants of the same kind are cultivated at one place on a large scale, it is called a crop. Most crops are cultivated in agriculture or hydroponic ...
s, including
fruit In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants that is formed from the ovary after flowering. Fruits are the means by which flowering plants (also known as angiosperms) disseminate their seeds. Edible fruits in part ...
s and
vegetable Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the edible flower, flowers, ...
s (
grains A grain is a small, hard, dry fruit ( caryopsis) – with or without an attached hull layer – harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals and legu ...
oats The oat (''Avena sativa''), sometimes called the common oat, is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed, which is known by the same name (usually in the plural, unlike other cereals and pseudocereals). While oats are suitable for human co ...
, etc. are also sometimes considered ''produce''). More specifically, the term ''produce'' often implies that the products are fresh and generally in the same state as where and when they were
harvest Harvesting is the process of gathering a ripe crop from the fields. Reaping is the cutting of grain or pulse for harvest, typically using a scythe, sickle, or reaper. On smaller farms with minimal mechanization, harvesting is the most labor ...
ed. In
supermarket A supermarket is a self-service shop offering a wide variety of food, beverages and household products, organized into sections. This kind of store is larger and has a wider selection than earlier grocery stores, but is smaller and more lim ...
s, the term is also used to refer to the section of the store where fruit and vegetables are kept. ''Produce'' is the main product sold by greengrocers (UK, Australia) and
farmers' market A farmers' market (or farmers market according to the AP stylebook, also farmer's market in the Cambridge Dictionary) is a physical retail marketplace intended to sell foods directly by farmers to consumers. Farmers' markets may be indoors or o ...
s. The term is widely and commonly used in the U.S. and Canada, but is not typically used outside the agricultural sector in other English-speaking countries. In parts of the world, including the U.S., produce is marked with small
sticker A sticker is a type of label: a piece of printed paper, plastic, vinyl, or other material with temporary or permanent pressure sensitive adhesive on one side. It can be used for decoration or for functional purposes, depending on the situation. ...
s bearing
price look-up codes Price look-up codes, commonly called PLU codes, PLU numbers, PLUs, produce codes, or produce labels, are a system of numbers that uniquely identify bulk produce sold in grocery stores and supermarkets. The codes have been in use since 1990, and ...
. These four- or five- digit codes are a standardized system intended to aid checkout and
inventory control Inventory control or stock control can be broadly defined as "the activity of checking a shop's stock". It is the process of ensuring that the right amount of supply is available within a business. However, a more focused definition takes into acco ...
at places where produce is sold.


Vegetables are optimally stored between 0° and 4.4° Celsius (32° and 40 °F) to reduce
respiration Respiration may refer to: Biology * Cellular respiration, the process in which nutrients are converted into useful energy in a cell ** Anaerobic respiration, cellular respiration without oxygen ** Maintenance respiration, the amount of cellul ...
. Generally, vegetables should be stored at a high humidity (80 and 95 percent relative humidity), but cucurbits (squash family) and onions prefer dry and can mold when moisture is high.

Bacterial contamination

Raw sprouts are among the produce most at risk of bacterial infection. Rinsing is an effective way to reduce the bacteria count on produce, reducing it to about 10 percent of its previous level. Wastewater used on vegetables can be a source of contamination, due to contamination with fecal matter, salmonella or other bacteria. After Denmark eliminated salmonella in its chickens, attention has turned to vegetables as a source of illness due to feces contamination from other animal sources, such as pigs.

See also

Food industry The food industry is a complex, global network of diverse businesses that supplies most of the food consumed by the world's population. The food industry today has become highly diversified, with manufacturing ranging from small, traditional, ...
* Food labeling regulations * Food traceability * Geography of food *
Produce traceability Produce traceability makes it possible to track produce from its point of origin to a retail location where it is purchased by consumers. Produce traceability is an important link in protecting public health since it allows health agencies to more ...

Notable people

Frieda Rapoport Caplan Frieda Rapoport Caplan (August 10, 1923 — January 18, 2020) was an American businesswoman who was the founder of Frieda's Inc., a specialty produce company in Los Alamitos, California. She created the specialty produce industry in the ...


Further reading

* Doyle, Martin (1857)
''Farm & Garden Produce: A Treasury of Information.''
G. Routledge & Co. OCLC Number: 39049007
Microbial Safety of Fresh Produce - Google Books

The Produce Contamination Problem: Causes and Solutions - Google Books

Produce Degradation: Pathways and Prevention - Google Books

Decontamination of Fresh and Minimally Processed Produce - Google Books

Microbiology of Fresh Produce - Google Books

Slow food: A Passion for Produce - Google Books

Melissa's Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce - Google Books

Procurement and Marketing of Minor Forest Produce in Tribal Areas - Google Books

Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture - Google Books

Global standard for food safety: guideline for category 5 fresh produce (North American version) - Google Books

External links

{{Authority control Crops Food retailing Edible fruits Vegetables