Wiers Farm expanding scannable packaged items
For more than 125 years, Wiers Farm Inc. has been operating out of Willard, OH, still working on the same grounds — as well as a few others.
“Expanding into other areas around Ohio has benefited our operation in terms of managing risks from weather events and has allowed us to increase our volume on most dry veg items,” said Tyler Wiers, farm manager of the company. “Our Florida operations ensure that we have Wiers Farm dry veg and sweet corn available 12 months of the year.”
So far in 2021, business has been steady for Wiers Farm.
“As expected, the retail and foodservice demand normalized somewhat from their respective highs and lows in 2020,” Wiers said. “We are moving more volume than in the last few spring seasons and we think that will maintain as we get into the Ohio summer harvest.”
Wiers Farm’s Florida operation began harvest in late March and is expected to continue into June when its Ohio farm starts shipping most items.
“Our growing partners in Georgia and Tennessee are preparing for the start of their spring seasons now,” Wiers said. “Their products will be distributed out of our Ohio facility.”
The company will soon be expanding its line of scannable packaged items, with its line of bagged salad cucumbers, green beans, radishes, jalapenos, serrano, and cubanelle now complemented by flow-wrapped and tray-packed 2-count Bell pepper, yellow squash, zucchini and cucumber.
“All of these items are available from Wiers Farm year-round,” Wiers said. “In addition to the scannable packs already offered for all of our leafy and root veg items, we are pleased that we now have scannable options for nearly every item we grow and pack. We also continue to add to our offerings of conveniently sized food service packs for buyers looking for smaller package sizes.”
Wiers Farm’s newly updated website at www.wiersfarm.com has more information including a downloadable product guide for buyers wanting to familiarize themselves with its pack sizes and availability.
As of late April, all Ohio crops were looking good so far and a dryer than average month has allowed Wiers Farms to get into the fields earlier than in the last few years, allowing them to get into volume a bit earlier than normal.
One challenge the company has been dealing with is the increase in transportation costs.
“We are fortunate that our sister company, Dutch Maid Logistics, is an asset-based company,” Wiers said. “This helps to ensure that if we need a truck we can get our produce to market.”
Still, sourcing produce from Ohio growers is going to continue to make sense both for local programs around the Midwest and for the Eastern U.S. as a whole while shipping costs and shipping reliability are becoming an increasingly important factor.
“This is something that Ohio producers are going to do well with compared to areas that have further to truck produce or have more trouble finding carriers,” Wiers said. “Dutch Maid Logistics runs around 200 trucks and 300 refrigerated trailers, is owned by the Wiers Family, and is located right next to the Wiers Farm Ohio headquarters. The benefit of having a reliable transportation partner right now and going into the summer season is essential for enabling us to deliver our produce on time, wherever it needs to go.”