Jones Produce Inc.

tries organic potatoes

Jones Produce Inc. is taking initial steps toward a possible offering of organic colored and russet potatoes.

The Quincy, Wash.-based grower-shipper of conventionally grown norkotah russets is starting its first organic trials this season, said salesman Shane Marston.

“We’ve got customers that are asking for it,” he said. “Hopefully it works well and will satisfy their need so we can continue to grow that side.”

Wong Potatoes Inc.

shifts packaging focus

Klamath Falls, Ore.-based Wong Potatoes Inc. plans to changes its mix of packaging materials in response to environmental concerns.

“A lot of cities are not wanting the poly or the plastic anymore, so we’re going back to some mesh and some paper,” salesman Ken Rutledge said.

“We’re still going to have 14 varieties of potatoes, our organics and conventionals. But we’ve gone in and redesigned some of our packaging.”

Rutledge predicts the market for the organics will grow.

“I think it’s going to be a pretty big year for organics,” he said. “The market has finally really kicked them off. In the beginning when we were introducing organics to the public, it was slow going. Now there’s a demand.” He declined to forecast how much sales in the segment might rise.

“We saw improvements last year and expect the same this year,” Rutledge said By staff writer Mike Hornick