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Farm Fresh Direct a ‘one-stop-shop’ for potatoes

Since its formation in 1999, the Colorado-based family farm coalition of Farm Fresh Direct has introduced numerous new potato products such as value-added organics, fingerlings and specialties while at the same time continuing production of traditional russets, reds and yellows.

Today, with its headquarters remaining in the San Luis Valley and partner farms in other production areas around the country, FFD provides unique “one-stop-shopping” opportunities for a buyer base that includes consumer-direct through its website, www.farmfreshdirect.net.farmfreshdirect-fro-web

Organics are a focal point, and according to Vice President of Business Development/Sales Dave Yeager, “With the growth of organics the San Luis Valley is now pushing 10 percent of total potato volume.” Six of FFD’s farmers grow certified organic potatoes, making it a leading producer, he added.

The organic sub-category has seen significant growth in recent years to include a wide variety of products within the potato category. Yeager said FFD offers organically grown russets, reds, yellows, fingerlings and creamers. The proprietary Express Bake PotatOH! is available in organic russets as well as conventional russets, sweet potatoes, Petite Fingerlings Steamers, Petite Chardonnay Steamers, Petite Merlot Steamers and Steamer Mix.

“We will continue to focus on organics and ‘one-stop-shopping’ to allow customers the flexibility to fill trucks with not only core items but also organics, microwave, convenience and creamers,” Yeager said.    

As the 2017 crop started coming in on Aug. 23, Yeager said quality looked good. No changes had been made to the product line-up for the year, and he noted, “We grow several proprietary varieties and continue to produce excellent tasting potatoes with better shelf life.”

Pack options range from 1.5-pounds and up, and Yeager said the company keeps pace with technology in every stage of production.

“We have embraced new technology for years with better tasting potatoes, leading edge water studies and higher sustainability with fewer inputs,” he said. “Now our growers use drones to manage everything from water to fertilizer effectiveness. It’s exciting to see technology make a real return on investment. We are a corporation owned by growers, so you can’t get any closer to the farm and fields.”

Yeager said the family of farms has not expanded for 2017, but he didn’t rule out future growth. “We really do our due diligence before expanding to make sure we get only the best growers to fit our model of excellent quality and customer service. We have not expanded our grower ownership this year but continue to evaluate opportunities and expect to have some announcements soon.”

He added that FFD President/CEO Jamey Higham, who joined the company in 2016, “continues to impress with his direction and understanding of the marketplace. He has brought a new level of teamwork and camaraderie that has increased our passion for excellence.”