Episode 123: Planning the Global Produce Industry with Julie Krivanek


Episode 123 Julie Krivanek Intro Quote

Julie Krivanek is a self-proclaimed deep generalist, member of boards, trusted advisor to board of directors, chief strategist and Founder and CEO of Krivanek Consulting, who has helped startups to global brands in the produce industry come out on top and weather any storm.

With a background in business management and a Masters in Special Studies, she’s dipped her toes in the waters of technology, mining, energy, construction and media, and has spent the last 30 years with Krivanek Consulting focused on the produce industry. Her adaptability to come into any organization and look at the holistic picture to identify a long term strategy is remarkable.

Never looking at herself as an oddity or outsider, Julie’s always remained excited, enthused and interested with any business she dives into. When it comes to the produce industry, Julie’s excited that “people are waking up finally.”

Ironically, the one thing most people were concerned about when the pandemic hit is the one industry that has survived all of the chaos and uncertainty with flying colors.

Episode 123 Julie Krivanek Quote

Now, that doesn’t mean every business in the produce industry has had it easy. There’s been plenty of businesses that were put in desperate positions because they had too much debt, small margins, and no revenue coming in. If a business relied on a model that doesn’t include a diversified portfolio, or doesn’t have any cash runway, yet high operating expenses, they’ve surely been hit hard during the pandemic.

However, Julie reminds us that this is the perfect opportunity to fix these issues and mitigate. As a business owner (and take this into consideration when you think about your family, too), you need to remember there will be more unforeseeable events that hit us in the next 5-20 years. Take a look at what your burn rate is, how fast you’re spending money and what you need to change in order to survive (and ideally thrive) as a business for the next two to three years.

“What do we need to remember? We need to remember at the end of this is long term value, long term advantage and profitable growth. We can’t get stuff where we are,” says Julie Krivanek, also mentioning that problems aren’t solved without the right board, the right CEO and the right strategy.

Moral of the story, end of the day: you’re in business for the long haul and you can apply the same thinking of  business strategy to your household too! Things don’t turn around and change overnight, so you have to be focused on long term strategies and solutions that benefit all. To reach the ideal vision of your business (or household), take an overarching look at what you’re doing to get there along with the strategies that would get you there competitively. You have to carve out a place of value in the marketplace, otherwise you only have price to compete on, which is a losing battle.

On top of that, having the right CEO is crucial. It’s a brutal job, but 40% of all big decisions are made by the CEO, so if you have a crummy one, or have appointed a family member “just because”, you could be losing revenue and might lose your business. That same CEO needs to be supported by the board

“You need to do everything you can to be in a position of strength and readiness.” – Julie Krivanek (25:13-25:18)

Despite a lot of businesses struggling during COVID-19, Julie is all about celebrating the produce industry this year! She’s been hearing from businesses left and right that they are having their best year ever and that they aren’t sure what to do with all of their profits! Doesn’t sound like a bad problem to have.

If you can take anything from Julie Krivanek, it’s her understanding of leadership. Whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, or head of a household, remember that you have deep value to add and you can change the trajectory of things as long as you harness your power as a leader. Follow your passion, your curiosity and the vision you have to make things better and be proud of the produce industry, who’s consumption of fresh foods and vegetables is up by 10% (pre-pandemic)!

The change we want to see for the health of humanity IS happening. Thank you for being a part of The Produce Moms and continuing to help make an impact by spreading our message.

How to get involved

  • Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week!
  • Reach out to us – we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here.

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Author: Lori Taylor

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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