Duda Farm Fresh Foods Highlights Its Florida Veg Program
FLORIDA - With how comprehensive, forward-thinking, and innovative our industry is, I can only assume the old adage, “Don’t put all your vegetables in one basket,” was first coined by someone in produce—maybe even one of Duda Farm Fresh Foods’ team members. My hunch is that it was this phrase that encouraged major growers to expand well beyond their operations in order to provide consumers with fresh produce year-round. Duda Farm Fresh Foods, a formidable California grower, is but one of many in our industry that implements this strategy to great results.
I chatted with Nichole Towell, Senior Director of Marketing, to find out how Duda Farm Fresh Foods’ Florida vegetable program complements its California and Arizona-based growing operations and strengthens its commodity lineup as a whole.
“Our Florida program helps us have surety in supply. Right now, we’re growing vegetables in Yuma, Arizona, and Florida, which helps provide peace of mind that we will be able to offer a supply of vegetables despite any problems in one area,” Nichole explained. “Additionally, Duda is one of the only companies that has an expanded lineup of leafy greens in Florida along with the other crops, which also strengthens our business.”
Duda Farm Fresh Foods is currently about a third of the way through its Florida season for corn and celery, while its leaf and lettuce season is about halfway finished. In total, the Florida program grows celery (now through late April), sweet corn (now through Memorial Day), radishes (now through May), and green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, romaine, and iceberg lettuce now through April 1. The grower also harvests citrus items like red grapefruit, white grapefruit, and honey tangerines now through April. All of these categories have, thus far, been enjoying a hotter season, Nichole revealed to me.
“There was unseasonably warm weather through winter, then short spells of large amounts of rain—normally, the rain comes in smaller amounts over a longer period,” Nichole explained. “While working with Mother Nature presents its challenges, the overall quality of the Florida crop is good, helping us to gear up our Florida Sweet Corn program for Memorial Day and continue to see growth and success in our value-added radishes.”
Nichole also noted that radishes are currently trending with consumers as an on-the-go lifestyle product, especially as we head into spring. Does this spell the beginnings of a new social media craze? AndNowUKnow will continue to keep our eyes on the skies to bring you the freshest produce news.