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Duda Farm Fresh Foods creates interactive marketplace for Fresh Summit

By
Keith Loria

Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc., based in Oviedo, FL, has six generations, and nearly 100 years of history behind its success.

Andrew Duda started the business on 40 acres of farmland and today, the company boasts a plethora of produce products featuring the Dandy brand.

Between the company’s responsible farming practices and its grab-and-go products developed with busy lifestyles in mind, Dandy products are grown, harvested and shipped with quality and care.

Since the pandemic began, Duda Farms has been able to continue meeting the needs of its customers.

“We’ve been able to adjust the way we communicate and serve our buyers and shoppers,” said Nichole Towell, senior director of marketing and packaging procurement. “As the market continues to shift due to this new normal, we have the right team and resources in place to ensure business moves forward.”

So, with all of that happening, business has not been what anyone thought it would be at the start of 2020.

“Obviously, this year has been one that no one expected or could have ever truly prepared for,” Towell said. “While there have been challenges that we as a company, as well as an industry, have had to adapt to, we’ve still been able to grow and provide quality produce and service to all.”

The company would also love to be seeing customers in-person at the PMA Fresh Summit, but is happy that there’s a virtual event going on so they can still make the most of all the positives that come out of the annual industry event.

“The virtual platform is allowing us to continue to connect as an industry and gives us the opportunity to teach and educate, especially those who usually aren’t able to experience the field first hand,” Towell said. “The fact that we are able to come together online grants everyone the chance to learn what is going on inside the field and enhance the decisions made every day. This virtual format still allows product demonstrations to take place even when travel has been cancelled and meeting in person is off the table.”

To prepare for the event, Duda Farm Fresh Foods has created an interactive marketplace that brings buyers in with a deeper look into the business with the virtual aspect.

“Fresh Summit is the industry’s largest event of the year and while we cannot be in person, we are still looking forward to connecting with everyone virtually,” Towell said. “We’ll be showcasing a number of our products but will really be elevating our Tray Pack Sweet Corn and are looking forward to sharing the updates made to the category’s first 100 percent recyclable tray.”

When it’s all over, Duda Farm Fresh Foods will associate success to connecting with key buyers and customers during this difficult time.

Outside of the show, the company is looking forward to what’s ahead, building on its expansion efforts.

For instance, last year, it expanded its Oxnard cooling and fresh-cut facility to better meet the increased demand for celery from foodservice, retailers and consumers. The company expects to do more of that in the months and years ahead.

“Fall and winter bring a lot of exciting opportunities, from the holiday consumption period and the Florida growing season to our annual Dip It 2 Win It promotion,” Towell said. “We have a lot cooking behind the scenes and are looking forward to sharing new products very soon.”

Photo: Bert Barnes, account manager and corn commodity manager in a Belle Glade, FL corn field.

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