Wada Farms Colorado network of growers key to success in potatoes
Family-owned Wada Farms is one of the nation’s largest suppliers of fresh potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes, with long-standing partner relationships throughout the U.S. and in countries around the world.
The company’s Colorado network of growers play an intricate part to its potato program by offering efficient and cost-effective supply chain solutions to help the overall bottom line in all industry segments.
Wada Farms’ footprint with Colorado potatoes has been active for nearly two decades.
“During this time, we have been able to fortify our presence and establish ourselves as a top tier shipper of Colorado potatoes,” said Eric Beck, director of marketing for the Idaho Falls, ID-based company. “Our customers have come to appreciate the service, value, and quality that is provided by our top-notch grower network.”
The Colorado potato program is year-round and the new crop typically starts at the end of August.
From a quality perspective, the growing conditions this season were favorable, and Wada expects to see good quality coming out of the fields.
“There should be good sizing profile ranging across the entire spectrum,” Beck said. “Test digs and initial quality inspections are indicating good overall internal and external quality characteristics for the tubers, and we anticipate they should store well for the duration of the 2023-2024 season.”
Success, Beck noted, comes down to adapting to the needs of the customer.
“Every customer is different, and where Wada shines is being able to adapt to the dynamically changing environment for fresh produce,” he said. “Our mentality is to think outside of the box — our customers’ success is our success. It really comes down to quality and service. Whoever executes best in this arena will find opportunity for growth.”
This year, potatoes demand continues to be favorable, and all industry segments remain consistent with their consumption projections.
“With steady pressure of inflation still prevalent in our economy, potatoes remain a value-based basket item for all consumer demographics,” Beck said.
Wada values its intra-industry relationships and holds the highest regard and respect for its fellow potato peers.
“Finding those opportunities to work together that will be mutually beneficial for every party involved only yields positive results for everyone at the table,” Beck said.
For improving sales of Colorado potatoes at the retail level, Beck recommends staying aware of the changing needs of the consumer.
“Do your due diligence and assess the category data to make sure you’re meeting the needs of your customer base,” he said. “Leverage those shippers that have access to category management and put yourself ahead of the curve. Wada Farms does provide this resource for our customers.”
Furthermore, he noted data is a very powerful tool in today’s dynamic landscape.
“Wada Farms prides itself being a diversified, vertically integrated grower-shipper,” Beck said. “Our supply chain solutions and service will yield positive results and a healthy bottom line for all that do business with us. We welcome the opportunity to serve your potato needs.”