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Wada Farms brings diversity of offerings to Viva Fresh Expo

Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC in Idaho Falls, ID, has been participating in the Viva Fresh Expo since its inception, and it’s a great place to be, according to Dominic Carnazzo, who is part of the sales and marketing team at Wada Farms and who will be on hand for the fifth Viva Fresh Expo in San Antonio, April 25-27.

Carnazzo, who is red, yellow, white, and organic potato program manager for Wada Farms, was at the 2018 Viva Expo as well, at the same venue, and “it was fantastic,” he said. “The folks who put the show together have done a very good job with seminars, keynote speakers, the events especially for networking,” and the exposition itself.

01-Wada---Dominic-CarnazzoDominic CarnazzoWada Farms has “a lot of regional business in the Texas area,” he said, so Viva Fresh is a good place for them to network with their customers. But the show’s reach goes well beyond that. “It’s got a real great pull as far as attendance goes, both retail and foodservice,” drawing buyers not only from the Texas region but from all over the country, Carnazzo said.

The company’s focus at Viva Fresh this year will be the diversity of its offerings. “Our main message is we do more than just [russet] potatoes,” Carnazzo said. While Idaho russets continue to be Wada’s core product, “more of our focus now is on our colored potato program, our white chipping potatoes, our organics, and of course our onions and sweet potatoes.

In colored potatoes, Wada Farms offers varieties of reds with white flesh and yellows with golden flesh, and “we are trying to set ourselves apart” from other round red and yellow potatoes by an emphasis on quality.

“We are in the process of testing some new varieties for this next year that may give us a little bit of an edge,” he said. Specifically, the company is looking for “bright, deep color, smooth skin, and size consistency.”

The white potatoes Wada Farms grows are long chipping potatoes, not round whites, Carnazzo said. “This is now our sixth year” growing them in Idaho. “We have a proprietary variety” grown only in Idaho that is now a ten-month program. During the transition from the end of the Idaho season to the start of the next Idaho harvest, Wada Farms fills in with white chippers from grower partners in California.

Wada Farms has been recently placing increased emphasis on its organic. The company now offers organic russets year-round, while reds and yellows now go for about ten month. As the 2018 crop may be finished before the Viva Fresh show, it is likely that “I won’t have any samples there,” he said. But “we are working towards a year-round program,” and that could happen by next year, he said.

In summary, “we have a broad range of products” for both foodservice and retail including specialty and value added products, Carnazza said, and the attention getter for Wada Farms at in San Antonio will be “the diversity of our program.”