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The wholesale sector is an intermediate stage in the supply chain of fresh produce. In general, business operations in this sector do not transform a specific product, but rather provide services related to the sale of the product. The term 'wholesaler' refers to all merchants that are part of this intermediate stage in the supply chain; namely, wholesale merchants, distributors, jobbers, shippers, import/export merchants, agents, brokers, commission merchants, and other types of intermediaries (US Census 2004). This definition of wholesalers, however, does not accurately depict all the activities and relationships participants in this supply chain sector develop. Hence, in order to be consistent with a correct terminology and to understand the results presented in this report, the use of 'intermediaries' throughout this paper refers to all participants including grower-shipper/distributors, brokers, custom service providers and wholesalers.


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