California cooperative introduces logo
After 46 years, California Sweet Potato Growers, Livingston, Calif., introduced a logo in December, said Sarah Alvernaz, general manager. The logo appears on invoices and company calendars.
Matt Alvernaz joined the co-op as a new grower last summer. His partners are his father, Ben, and uncle Jim Alvernaz.
In 1963, âSweet Potato Joeâ Alvernaz, who is Ben and Jimâs father, started the co-op with five other members, Sarah Alvernaz said.
The co-op ships up to 300,000 40-pound equivalents annually.
Mississippi growers plan for a rebound
Benny Graves, executive secretary of the Mississippi Sweet Potato Council, Starkville, said growers focused on the 2010 season and planning to recover from a disastrous 2009 season.
âWeâre looking at crop models right now to see what acreage we can put in,â Graves said in mid-February.
The council was working to secure federal and state legislation to help growers who suffered losses from Mississippiâs heavy rains with low interest loans and other assistance.
âRest assured, weâre going to grow sweet potatoes,â Graves said. âWeâre going to come back.â
N.C. commission rehires New York PR firm
Lewis & Neal Inc., a New York City-based public relations firm, was hired again to assist Smithfield-based North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission with promotions, said Sue Johnson-Langdon, executive director of the commission.
This is Lewis & Nealeâs second year working with the commission.
U.S. council seeks ideas for cost-effective promos
The board of directors for Columbia, S.C.-based The U.S. Sweet Potato Council is asking state council members submit to new ideas for promoting sweet potatoes that cost $10,000 or less.
The ideas are to be presented to the board at its June meeting, said Charles Walker, executive secretary of the council. The board will award funding to the state with the best idea so that the plan can be implemented in the fall.
Wayne E. Bailey sees fingerling interest grow
The fingerling sweet potato program is getting more interest from foodservice customers, said George Wooten, president of Wayne E. Bailey Produce Co., Chadbourn, N.C.
The company will ship fingerlings in foodservice packs of 10, 20 and 40 pounds. Each fingerling weighs at average of 2.5 ounces. Wayne E. Bailey also can ship 1Â½-pound consumer packs of fingerlings, which retail for about $2.89.
Wayne E. Bailey ships throughout most of the U.S., except into the Northwest. It also exports sweet potatoes to Europe.
The company celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, Wooten said.