Behind the Scenes With Bako Sweet®; Tito Martinez and Prescott Leyba Discuss Sweet Potato Harvesting
BAKERSFIELD, CA - Sweet potato harvest is here and the excitement for new crop sweet potatoes is in the air. Of course, I had to reach out to Country Sweet Produce, the company behind the Bako Sweet® brand, to learn more about the ways in which the grower’s hand-harvested crop is shaping up.
“We do things a little differently to ensure consistency in the end product,” begins Tito Martinez, Executive Vice President of Farming Operations. “Our sweet potatoes are hand-harvested and sorted into field bins based on our sizing specs. Each sized bin will be packed only when the desired sizing spec is ordered.”
By doing this, Country Sweet is able to ensure product predictability and consistency for both its retail partners and shoppers with their Bako Sweet products.
“Bako Sweet has perfected every part of the growing and harvesting process over the years to deliver the consistently sized sweet potatoes your shoppers want,” Prescott Leyba, Director of Sales, adds. “You can only find consistently sized, triple-washed sweet potatoes with Bako Sweet. We are invested in the time and experienced, skilled workforce necessary to offer sweet potatoes with quality that you can rely on every time.”
The quality of the crop, as Tito shares, is progressing nicely, with hopes for premium weather to get the sweet potatoes to their ideal sizing.
“We like to start harvesting in late July in a small way, then gradually increase harvesters as needed with the goal to be done by early-mid November,” he notes. “At the moment, there are no ‘hallmark moments,’ other than just the general excitement of new crop!”
Prescott added that historically August is the tightest month of the year in terms of supply—I imagine the excitement for new crop stems from this desire to refill the sweet potato coffers.
“Most growers are scraping the bottom of the barrel on storage crop and eagerly anticipating inbound loads from new crop harvest. While August is typically a month when sweet potatoes fade to the back of shoppers’ minds, demand has continued to outpace historicals as the category continues to grow,” Prescott explains.
We’re excited to see what the rest of the season looks like for Country Sweet! Keep reading us here at AndNowUKnow for the latest.