Wada Farms thinks outside the box
Wada Farms, a family-owned farming operation that began in 1943 with 160 acres of potatoes, is now 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.
“While we continue to focus on the core — potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes, we have ventured into new categories that have yielded good success for Wada and our customers,” said Eric Beck, director of marketing for the Idaho Falls, ID-based company. “Wada now markets watermelons, squash, sweet corn, pumpkins, beans, cabbage, green beans and broccoli. We look forward to these new additions to our commodity and services portfolio, and to further benefit our customers with premium quality produce.”
That will be a core message of the company when it heads to Viva Fresh, where it will exhibit at booth No. 104, featuring a full line up of commodities and supply chain services.
“Attendees who visit our booth will have the opportunity to learn about how Wada Farms can be a valuable partner to help capitalize in all facets of the supply chain ranging from category management, logistics and then followed by premium quality produce to offer to their customers,” Beck said. “Wada really strives to think outside of the box and avoid the status quo. We know the world and needs of the consumer is always changing, so we strive to remain dynamic and relevant to adapt to those changes.”
Representing Wada at this year’s show will be Joe Esta and Dave Barton.
“Viva Fresh is a very well thought out show that many attendees and exhibitors find beneficial,” Beck said. “We look forward to connecting with customers across all industry segments and continuing to forge those relationships.”
Wada, which is the exclusive marketer of Dole potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions, has been a long-time participant at Viva Fresh in various capacities.
“Viva has positioned itself to be one of those ‘can’t miss’ shows based on the attendance, location and seasonality,” Beck said. “Success can be measured differently at each show. It really comes down how you play the cards you’re dealt. Obviously, acquiring new business opportunities is a big plus, but sometimes positive gains can come through different venues. Being able to reconnect and network with industry colleagues is always a bonus as well.”
One of the discussions that is expected to go on during the show is what’s happening with the current potato stocks.
“This has been a common conversation the last couple of seasons due to low yields, acreage deductions, weather impacts, market pressure from multiple segments of the potato industry, etc.,” Beck said. “One positive going from the 2021 to the 2022 season, is there has been better control on managing the pile. Production and raw material usage has been monitored very closely to prevent potential gaps between the 2022 and 2023 crops.”
Thus far, 2023 has been kind to Wada Farms and leadership expects to have a good season ahead.
“We are excited to get planting underway for our new potato crop soon,” Beck said. “Mother Nature has provided some good moisture this winter, so that will help with the water supply heading into the growing season. I think that is the fun with agriculture in general — you’re always excited for the new to come along each season. Out with the old, and in with the new.”