Northeast operations give locals reduced food miles
Locally sourced food popular across the commodity line
Storage crop commodities continue to see good sales move well past the holidays and into 2018 and sufficient supplies. Offering food locally remains a high priority for consumers.
Growers attribute the increase to people getting more educated on what actually defines ‘local’. “You can look at several national studies on consumer research and locally sourced food is becoming more popular,” says Eric Beck of Wada Farms. Food sourced within a few hundred miles of a consumer’s home also indicates an environmental responsibility by the retailer – not having procured commodities from across the country “It’s the both the retailer and consumer’s way of being carbon footprint conscious.”
A northwest sweet potato program is one of Wada Farms’ newest programs. Beck says last year was its true maiden voyage on a little over 70 acres and they’ll be increasing acreage for the fresh market in 2018. “We’ll start planting the 2018 crop in late April/late May and will target to have availability in mid-October.” He says it’s looking like another good year; plus there are plans to increase acreage and that the beauty behind having sweet potatoes grown in the northwest is two fold.
"Customers looking to consolidate their potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes orders can do so with ease. The core of our operations is based in the Northwest allowing us to optimize the supply chain efficiencies needed to facilitate the consolidation requests for our customers. Secondly, we're reducing overall food miles, which translates into better quality and more shelf life for the customer,” he says. There’s sufficient supply across their commodity line (potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes) with good quality and good pack outs until the end of the season, depending on demand. “All in all we feel we’ll be able to meet customers needs without any issues,” he says.
Visitors to Wada Farms’ booth at Southern Exposure can expect to see a range of commodities and Beck says interested parties can also learn about their supply chain services.
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Ph: (208) 542-2898
Publication date: 2/23/2018
Author: Rebecca D Dumais
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