Don Harris is president of Harris Consulting Solutions, a produce industry consulting firm located in Boulder, Colorado. He is a 40-year veteran of all aspects of the produce industry from buying through retail including distribution, merchandising, strategic planning, buying strategies, organic operations, category development, training, and teambuilding.
During his career, Don’s responsibilities have covered the entire spectrum of the produce industry, from corporate management to regional buying, from strategic planning to training of personnel, and building integrated teams for buying, merchandising, and distribution. He also has strong backgrounds in organic retailing in merchandising as well as category development for various commodities.
Don is a graduate of the University of Idaho with a BS in Business Marketing. He also has certificates from UC Davis in Postharvest Technology and Washington State University in Organic Fruit Sales and merchandising. His experience includes 30 years with a major national supermarket chain as a Director of Corporate Produce merchandising and marketing, regional manager of buying operations, Strategic Coordinator of Strategic planning, and Divisional relations. He was also Vice Pres. of Produce and Floral for the natural and organic food chain Wild Oats, with responsibility for all merchandising, buying, and training activities. He created the Wild Oats organic buying team which supplied organic items to over 100 stores across the country. He spent the last five years working for a national Berry shipper, where he worked in wholesale distribution, sales, and category development where he supervised various retail accounts and was responsible for the growth of their Berry categories.
In his consulting activities Don has worked with suppliers, equipment companies, the US Government’s Agency for International Development, and retail supermarkets. He also writes a monthly column in the Produce Business magazine on retail subjects.
His goal in his consulting efforts is to utilize his vast experience to solve challenges and plot solutions. He uses this expertise to formulate strategic plans, merchandising programs, training seminars, selling strategies, and execution direction for the challenges and obstacles of the companies he works with.
“In this industry, if one believes that he knows everything and stops learning, he will be left behind. As in many industries, is vital to continue to change and learn in the Produce industry to be successful and prosper”.