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Wada Farms is well positioned for surety of supply through balance of season

Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC in Idaho Falls, ID, has a diverse potato program out of the Northwest, consisting of russets, red and yellow varieties, fingerlings, chippers, artisan mini-potatoes and various retail convenience packs. Most of Wada’s potatoes come from Idaho, but the company also has co-packers in Washington and Oregon.

As 2019 gets under way, Wada Farms “has positioned itself from a surety of supply standpoint to be able to meet demand through the rest of this storage crop,” and with regard to russets, that means through to the start of the next harvest, said Eric Beck, marketing director.

01-Wada---Eric-BeckEric Beck“Quality thus far has been above average and has been holding very well,” he said.

“In our varietal program, we are probably looking at being somewhere in the April time frame for the end of the varietal storage crop this year,” he said.

Wada farms has a significantly expanded organic program this year, and with regard to organic potatoes, “I would say sometime in the middle of summer is when we will probably see that organic program come to an end” for the current storage crop, Beck said. That will be only a few weeks before organic potatoes from the 2019 harvest will be available.

Those projections are all “contingent on demand and on how the crop holds up in storage,” he said, “but I would say on the average, things are looking very good for a surety of supply out of the Northwest” from Wada Farms.

The current storage crop offers good opportunities for promotion in the months ahead. However, “if retailers are considering promotions between now and the summertime, it would be advantageous” for them to have “discussions early on” with shippers about those promotions “so that shippers can get allocations set out for those kinds of ads to make sure there is an ample amount of potatoes to meet their needs,” Beck noted.

Potato Lover’s Month is “around the corner,” Beck said Jan. 4. The annual display contest, sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission and now drawing in excess of 5,000 participants a year, runs from mid-January to mid-March. Qualifying displays must be in place in the store’s produce section for one week during that period.

“We want to encourage retailers to capitalize on that opportunity and to reach out to us to set up programs that would work for them,” Beck said.

“Being a Northwest potato deal, we would want to make sure that we are set up to help all of our retail customers succeed in doing that” he said.

“Now would be a good time to capitalize on that opportunity for great point-of-sale promotions and putting more value into your Idaho market share category,” Beck concluded.