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Dandrea Farms going strong after 100 years

Established way back in 1917 with just 400 acres in Vineyard, NJ, Dandrea Produce has long been a staple in the Jersey produce industry and has grown into a fourth-generation farming operation with numerous growers and thousands of acres.

“Dandrea Farms not only directly farms, but we provide and work with 15 additional growers to support our local Jersey Fresh program,” said Steve Dandrea, vice president of sales and marketing for the company. “Trends are moving to fresh and our local Jersey program has increased by 20 percent because of the symbiotic awareness of local and the consumer.”

Success for the company through the years is predicated on three core principals — partnering with trusted retail operations, finding dedicated farmers and having intense capital.

With the summer days winding down, the company is looking forward to the fall season and Dandrea noted things look good for a strong fall crop.

“The crop is shaping up to be terrific in terms of quality,” he said. “Our growing methods have improved with digital testing of soil compositions and more sophisticated methods to apply proper nutrients.”

As with most in the industry, labor issues continue to be a struggle, and the company is doing what it can to ensure everything is ready to go for the season.

Another struggle, though to a lesser degree, is the need to find better packaging as Dandrea Farms is committed to find more environmentally friendly ways of packing the produce it offers.

“Dandrea Produce is looking to enter the fall deal with exceedingly fresh Jersey produce,” Dandrea said. “The biggest buzz around our company is our ability to continue to strategically partner with retailers.”