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Top Brass goes all-in on organic potatoes

Top Brass Produce, based in Bakersfield, CA, is the official sales agent for Vignolo Farms, which is celebrating its 80th birthday this year. 

“We have been farming organic grapes and potatoes for several years and are committed to organics,” said Brett Dixon, president of Top Brass. “The largest news this year is that we converted 100 percent of our potato business to organics. Now we only grow and sell organic potatoes out of the central valley of California. We offer red, yellow, and russet potatoes.”  

In addition to growing the organic potatoes, Top Brass also has four varieties of organic red seedless grapes and four varieties of green seedless grapes. And whether you’re talking grapes or potatoes, the secret to success, Dixon shared, all starts with quality product.

IMG 7037Mike Torczon, Dustin Clyde, April Myers and Brett Dixon of Top Brass Produce.“The challenge that I think many farming companies had over the last several years is thinking and debating on whether the organic business is going to continue to grow,” Dixon said. “There were certainly varying points of view, but we here at Top Brass were and are convinced that organics will continue to grow and thrive in the marketplace.”

Looking at what’s expected for 2018, that line of thinking seems solid.

“Thankfully potatoes are trending up and have been for Top Brass,” Dixon said. “We are hearing a lot of excitement out of our customers regarding the upcoming grape season that we will be starting in July. The crop is estimated to be good this year. The only change is that we probably will be starting a week later than usual but still in July.”

With the upcoming Organic Produce Summit on its schedule, some of Top Brass’ leaders are looking forward to meeting with their colleagues and customers to talk about why the company decided to move away from conventional potatoes and focus exclusively on organic.

According to Dixon, it just made too much sense not to go in this direction.

“It has been extremely rewarding to see consumers embrace organic produce,” he said. “We here at Top Brass have been in the organic fruit and vegetable business for several years. The show’s growth is a testament to its ever-increasing role in the overall produce department.”

During the off-season, Top Brass built a new facility so that all of its sales and support staff could be under one roof. The move is also intended as a way to better serve its customers.

“We have always been committed to customer service and this will be a way to help us improve service to our customers across the country,” Dixon said.