Business Updates: North Carolina Sweet Potatoes

09/28/2012 04:09:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Farm Fresh Produce moves to new offices

Farm Fresh Produce, Mount Olive, N.C., plans to relocate to Faison, N.C.

Steven Ceccarelli, owner, said he expects to be moved into the larger, 3,000-square-foot offices by January.

Additionally, Farm Fresh plans to add three sales positions: one to handle sweet potatoes, another to sell North Carolina vegetables and the third to sell tropicals and other year-round produce, Ceccarelli said.

Ceccarelli markets for growers as well as sells from his own acreage.

Southern Produce Distributors Inc., Faison, N.C., is introducing 3- and 5-pound bags.

Southern Produce Distributors debuts bag

The 10-in-one mesh bags display 10 ways consumers can prepare sweet potatoes.

Releasing the bag in early September, the bag holds triple-washed and sized sweet potatoes.

Brenda Oglesby, sales manager, said the bags should help spark shopper preparation ideas.

Oglesby said Southern Produce plans to introduce steamable bags during the Oct. 26-29 Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2012 expo in Anaheim, Calif.

Vick Family Farms gets new sales leadership

Charlotte Vick-Ferrell, a partner with Vick Family Farms, Wilson, N.C., is now heading sales.

Vick-Ferrell, who joined the family business in 1993, reorganized the grower-shipper’s sales and now oversees that area.

Three people work in Vick’s sales, including Vick-Ferrell and Hunter Rascoe, a December North Carolina State University graduate who joined in January.

Rascoe earned a marketing degree at the Raleigh, N.C.-based university and previously interned as an assistant farm manager with the operation.

Rascoe also manages the packinghouse and shipping.

Also, Vick is branding its jumbos under a new label.

Grande Gold joins Vick’s Carolina Gold and Pure Gold labels.

In other news, Vick is integrating Global Trade Identification Numbers into its shipments. While Vick has possessed GTIN numbers, it began shipping its first loads with the codes this summer, Vick-Ferrell said.

Every case of Vick’s sweet potatoes now show GTIN and lot numbers and bar codes for retail scanning, she said.



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