Wada Farms plans to ‘get pulse of industry’ at New York Produce Show
Family-owned Wada Farms, one of the nation’s largest suppliers of fresh potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes, is headed to the New York Produce Show where it will be showcasing its entire commodity and services portfolio.
“The New York Produce Show always is a fun and exciting venue to exhibit at for Wada Farms,” said Eric Beck, director of marketing for the Idaho Falls, ID-based company. “We look forward to having discussions with new and current customers on how we can best service the needs of a demanding and dynamic supply chain.”
Wada Farms will be at booth No. 311, with Joe Esta, vice president of marketing and Ben Josephson, director of sales, representing the company.
“Attending the New York Produce Show helps us get a pulse on what is happening in the marketplace,” Beck said. “It provides insight into consumer demand, opportunities for gained market share, and is a catalyst for product development and innovation.”
There’s a lot going on in the industry that will lead the conversations on the show floor, but Beck surmises that discussions around surety of supply and quality outlook will be core topics as it ventures into the 2023 storage season.
“I would also suspect some dialogue around operational inflationary pressures to grow, pack and market produce commodities,” Beck said. “This discussion usually leads to other talking points such as end consumer consumption, merchandising at store level and mitigating cost volatility.”
Wada Farms’ strategy for preparing for the show is simple and straightforward, with Beck explaining that it aims to provide solutions and execute on the commitments it makes with customers.
“We want Wada to be a ‘go-to’ choice, and we know that opportunity is earned not given,” Beck said. “We welcome the opportunity to earn our spot at the table. Having the opportunity to network is key to a good show. The New York show provides this venue to accomplish this.”
In 2023, the team at Wada Farms continues to grow. It recently added Nicole Rumsey Wasylow to the sales team.
“Her expertise in the potato and onion category will be an asset that our customers will be able to lean on to meet their produce and category management needs,” Beck said. “Nicole is a born and raised Idaho farm girl. Being the daughter of a local vocational ag teacher, she spent many years involved in the FFA program. She started in the produce business as a summer job in between college semesters and fell in love with it.”
Wada Farms has had a fair share of positive moments in 2023.
“We mitigated through a tough supply situation with last year’s storage crop and kept the supply chain full,” Beck said. “We had a good growing season for the current storage crop. Harvest went smooth with minimal bumps along the way. The commodities we deal in continue to see steady growth. All in all, it has been good.”
The company also continues to focus growing its newest portfolio additions of watermelons, pumpkins and sweet corn. Growth with its core foundation of potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes remains a priority as well.
“We continue to look for venues to broaden consumer perception of how potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes can be part of everyday meal planning,” Beck said.