Customers can rely on the Parker Farms ‘promise’
They call it the Parker Promise. It is the oath, made decades ago by company officials, that Parker Farms, now a third-generation family-owned-and-operated business, is dedicated to creating solutions for its customers produce and logistic needs, while also generating extraordinary value for its growers and providing a dynamic, challenging and rewarding workplace for its employees.
That promise is still the engine that keeps this Oak Grove, Va.-based company operating on all cylinders and giving its growers and customers the consistency they need and demand.
“We started as a pick-your-own berry farm in southern Maryland and have developed into one the premier East Coast growers and distributors of fresh produce,” said Nick Niles, who runs sales and business development for the company. “What makes us unique is that we partner with growers from Florida to New York, as well as in Mexico, which gives us the ability to supply our customers year-round. So, we can stick to our traditional family business culture by providing our customers with a personal level of customer service while being able to provide the volume and quality that retailers and wholesalers require.”
Today, Parker Farms utilizes a core group of growers from New York to Florida, and more than 10,000 acres of production. Proudly, the company says that each grower brings a unique story and visions that allows the company to offer a wide array of produce options and a superior product.
However, this is not a company that is standing pat on its past performance. Parker Farms has implemented a number of initiatives in recent years to keep up — even stay ahead — of the curve in the industry. For example, in 2019 the company began a partnership with select organic growers along the East Coast to develop the Parker Farms Organic label.
Niles said that in terms of new products, Parker Farms’ expanded organic menu and new tray packed vegetables are very exciting for Parker Farms, its customers, and ultimately the consumers at the store level. “The tray packs will feature our freshest vegetables and offer a clean unique label that will be easily recognized among our consumers,” he noted. “By increasing our product line with overwrapping and new organic vegetables, our store branding will be more prevalent.”
Also, in 2020, the company was able to announce that in the process of developing viable and practical business solutions, its packing and cold storage facility was 90 percent solar powered. That energy saving option will help to minimize the company’s carbon imprint.
“Parker Farms installed solar panels at our Virginia headquarters and warehouse to reduce our energy costs, lower our carbon footprint, and set an example to the farming industry by utilizing alternative sources of energy,” said Niles. “Also, with the launch of our tray packed and bagged products, we offer the retailers biodegradable packaging as an option.”
Niles is also excited about the upcoming offerings for the summer season, noting that the company is aggressively expanding into new ventures. “This summer we are starting to sell our tray-wrapped line of products,” he added. “These include tray-wrapped corn, broccoli, summer squash, peppers, and cucumbers. We have also expanded our organic vegetable program as well. We are now offering organic broccoli, summer squash, cucumbers, peppers, cabbage, sweet corn and tomatoes.”
Parker Farms is not done innovating yet. Well aware that the industry is always in a state of flux and that it is vital to stay ahead of trends, Niles said company officials are always looking toward what is needed in the future.
“The marketplace is always changing,” he said. “Parker Farms has had continued growth and success by staying ahead of and reacting to these changes. The constant in the produce industry will always be quality product and consistent delivery. We put our farms, growers, and employees first to accomplish these needs — that will never change at Parker Farms.”