“North Carolina is really putting on the promotions in those export markets, especially into the U.K. and Europe,” said George Wooten, president.
“North Carolina definitely has a jump and edge in marketing sweet potatoes in those areas and is becoming the brand of origin of choice.”
Wooten said North Carolina has overtaken Israel and Spain in exporting to Europe.
Dewey Scott, vice president of Scott Farms, Lucama, N.C., said about 60% of the company’s fresh sweet potatoes ship overseas, with top markets being the United Kingdom, Germany and France.
Idaho Falls, Idaho-based Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC exports limited volume of its North Carolina sweet potatoes.
Jeff Scramlin, Wada’s Raleigh, N.C.-based director of business development, said the growers Wada represents used to send some for export but experienced difficulties through other marketers.
He said those growers wanted Wada to move more product domestically.
Shippers estimate up to 25% of North Carolina’s sweet potatoes ship overseas.