What is a Produce Clerk?
Produce Clerks are in charge of managing the ordering and display of fruits and vegetables at grocery stores. Under the supervision of the department or store manager, these employees inspect produce to make sure it is fresh and has no defects, and arrange it in a display case. Additionally, Produce Clerks provide customer service by answering the grocery store’s customers’ questions, checking stock and providing recommendations about the taste and smell of the items, and advice for recipes.
A Produce Clerk’s position is typically entry-level and training is typically on the job. Produce Clerks may work in small grocery stores, specialty stores or large supermarkets and big-box stores, such as Target and Costco. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects a 5 percent increase in new jobs for Stock Clerks and Order Fillers, a category that includes Produce Clerks, with 68,900 annual openings becoming available through the creation of new jobs and turnover in existing ones.
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Produce Clerk Duties and Responsibilities
Providing Customer Service
Providing General Help
Produce Clerk Skills
Being a Produce Clerk requires both knowledge in produce, as well as a customer-friendly attitude. These individuals must be able to multitask in order to make sure the produce aisles are stocked with fresh merchandize, while simultaneously handling customer queries. The type of person right for this role is outgoing, friendly, able to lift heavy items, stand for long periods of time and able to work as part of a team.
Core skills Due to the fact that most store managers offer on-the-job training in many of the job listings we found, there are some basic skills that were required of Produce Clerks, such as
- Knowledge of mathematics in order to keep track of inventory and accurately mark prices and calculate discounts
- Sales skills in order to recommend products depending on customer needs
- Food handling and preparation skills
- Communication skills, which include active listening and speaking in a professional way
Advanced skills Although not every job listing required these skills, they may be advantageous in setting yourself apart from others in a job interview.
- Creativity in the design of produce displays
- Knowledge of recipes using the store’s produce as ingredients
- Ability to use computer systems to place orders and maintain inventory
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Produce Clerk Salary
Produce Clerk Resources
Learn more about working as a Produce Clerk by utilizing the online and print resources listed below.
On the WebThePacker.com
The fresh fruit and vegetable industry’s leading source for news, information and analysis.The Produce Blog
A blog with articles, photos and videos helpful to sell produce.Safe Food Handling Fact Sheets
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) guidelines for handling food.
National Grocers Association, which represents the independent and communityfocused retail & wholesale grocery industry.
Groundskeeping BooksThe Produce Clerk’s Handbook: A Guide to Retailing & Handling Produce by Rick Chong
A book by the author, who has worked in all facets of the produce industry since 1984, winning several awards for retail excellence.Melissa’s Great Book of Produce: Everything You Need to Know about Fresh Fruits and Vegetables by Cathy Thomas
An illustrated guide to recognizing and differentiating between different varieties of fruits and vegetables.Field Guide to Produce: How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Fruit and Vegetable at the Market by Aliza Green
A guide to selecting, storing and preparing over 200 fruits and vegetables.