North Carolina Sweet Potato business updates

10/12/2011 09:45:00 AM
Andy Nelson

Dunn, N.C.-based Godwin Produce Co. launched a Facebook page this spring and is upgrading its website this fall, said David Godwin, the company’s owner.

Between 200 and 300 people check the page on a weekly basis, Godwin said.

The company constantly updates the page with photos of workers in the field and other subjects, Godwin said.

“It’s really taken off for us.”

Upgrades to Godwin Produce’s website, www.sweettater.com, which were completed this fall, include new photos and other content and links to other sites, Godwin said.

Southern Produce adds salesman

Dennis Harrell joined the sales desk of Faison, N.C.-based Southern Produce Distributors Inc. Sept. 26, said Stewart Precythe, the company’s president and chief executive officer.

Harrell will sell sweet potatoes and lead the company’s new watermelon and blueberry program next spring, Precythe said.

Before joining Southern, Harrell worked as the general manager of the Carolina Blueberry Association co-op.

Before that, he worked as a buyer for the Food Lion retail chain.

Also new at Southern, the company has added a second sweet potato packing line, Precythe said.

The line will pack product for processors and for 6-kilogram export boxes. It will also be used to handle extra orders for the holidays.

Wayne E. Bailey
offers steamer display

Chadbourn, N.C.-based Wayne E. Bailey Produce Co. will begin offering retailers pop-up displays for its value-added steamer sweet potato packs, said George Wooten, the company’s owner and chief executive officer.

The stand-alone displays are about 3 1/2 feet tall and 20 inches wide, Wooten said.

The microwaveable packs, which the company introduced two years ago, have seen strong growth, with sales up about 50% each of the past two seasons.

The displays hold a case of the steamer bags and feature the American Heart Association logo emphasizing sweet potatoes’ healthfulness, Wooten said.

Also new at the company, Wayne E. Bailey will pack 3- and 5-pound bags this season that feature the General Mills Box Tops label, Wooten said.

Sweet potatoes packed under the Green Giant label will feature Box Tops, which benefit schools.

Green Giant is the only fresh produce partner of the Box Tops program.

By Markets Editor Andy Nelson


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