Hollis Baley, director of marketing for Klamath Basin Fresh Organics LLC, said she expected continuing demand and acceptance at the retail sector when it comes to organic product. “Business is good,” she told The Produce News. “I think people continue to buy organics because they know it’s better for them and the environment. Especially for root vegetables and other commodities with such delicate skins, what you put into the farming process is getting fully absorbed into the vegetable. Therefore, I would guess that, as consumers continue to become more conscious of their health and the environment and how food is integrated into the body, consumer interest in organics will only continue to grow.”
KBFO is a cooperative 17 family farms located in the basin, all of which recognize the importance of sustainability. The majority of these family-based farms are third- and fourth-generation ag-related businesses.
“Our core mission is to produce a premium organic potato while enhancing the environmental and economic stability of the rural Klamath Basin now and for future generations,” the company’s website states.
The cooperative’s organic potato manifest includes russets, reds, Yukon Gold, Purple Majesty, Klamath Pearl and Purple Fiesta. Fingerlings include Ruby Crescent, Russian Banana, French and AmaRosa.
Baley was asked how this year’s crop progressed. “Quality is good,” she replied. “Color on the reds turned out really well, and we are very happy with our newer more festive varieties, AmaRosa and Purple Fiesta.” Yields, she went on to say, were also good across the board.
Potatoes are marketed throughout the country. “We have a 100-percent paper option for our specialty potatoes,” she continued. “The paper bag has a mesh view window on the back and is highly educational while protecting the potatoes from light which causes them to turn green. We also have a poly/mesh option and an all-mesh option.”
KBFO will arrange for demos at New Seasons and Whole Foods retail outlets in the Portland, OR, area during the holidays. “We are collaborating with a handful of local chefs who support our cooperative by serving our potatoes in their restaurants, and we are doing some cross-marketing to help each other spread the word about supporting local farmers,” Bailey added.