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Sweet Potatoes a hot topic for Vick Family Farms

Since 1975, Vick Family Farms has been a shining example of how a family can work together and be successful, and the strong family bond has propelled the company to become one of the largest providers of sweet potatoes in North Carolina.

And as they start preparing for a trip to Florida for this year’s SEPC Southern Exposure conference and trade show, those at the company are excited to talk about what’s happening with sweet potatoes in 2020.

“Sweet potatoes have been a hot topic especially since last year due to the fact they were in such short supply in 2019 because of the 2018 crop,” said Charlotte D. Vick, partner/sales and marketing manager for the Wilson, NC-based company. “I am positive that the supply and expectations for prices will be the gist of most of the conversations this season. That seems to be the one question I keep getting asked daily now.”

vickvick Vick Family Farms will be behind Booth No. 801 at this year’s show and as always, the booth with be highlighting the year-round sweet potato program the company offers, as well as having team members on hand to answer any questions.

“SEPC is always a great show for us with lots of traffic,” Vick said. “Each year we meet so many potential customers. This show is more intimate because of its size and we are able to spend more time talking with customers than at the larger shows. That’s what makes this show a little different than the others.”

While those attending look forward to meeting with current customers, SEPC is also a great place to make connections and meet some possible new customers, and Vick noted that it’s a great show for doing so. That’s why Vick Family Farms prepares a strategy a few weeks ahead of the trip to ensure they make the most out of the show.

“Mapping out areas where I would like to see growth, markets maybe we have serviced in the past and the wants of consumers are topics we explore prior to the show so we know who we are targeting while at the show,” Vick said. “Every year our experience is great. I say it all the time, this is my favorite show and attendance is always great. I am sure the warmer Florida weather helps attract so many, but all of us in the produce industry are hopeful it’s our good products that attract so many.”

This show comes at a great time for those in the sweet potato industry, Vick said, because they have finished the busiest time of year with the holidays being over and everyone is aware of their inventory by now and what can and cannot be done as far as sales for the balance of the season. 

“We have some expansions planned for 2020 that will allow for additional space for inventory and improved seedstock,” Vick said. “We have also added additional acres for the 2020 growing season to accommodate the growth in the market and are continuing to explore value added products that we can add to our line in 2020.”