FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, FEB. 5, 2009
Peter Thornton, assistant director for international marketing
NCDA&CS Marketing Division
NCDA&CS gives Exporter of the Year Award
to Nash County sweet potato grower/packer
RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has named a Nash County sweet potato grower and packer its 2009 Exporter of the Year.
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler presented the award to officials of Farm Pak Products Inc., a division of Barnes Farming Corp., during the Ag Development Forum on Feb. 5. The department created the award to honor agriculture businesses that successfully export N.C. food products around the world.
In presenting the award, Troxler cited Farm Pak’s long record of successfully marketing sweet potatoes to the European Union, its commitment to quality, and its use of innovative branding and promotional methods.
“An exporter of fresh sweet potatoes faces many challenges,” Troxler said. “But Farm Pak has crossed those hurdles by planting a variety of sweet potato that has a longer shelf life and providing a consistent year-round supply from environmentally friendly storage facilities. In addition, the company has gotten all the certifications necessary to export their sweet potatoes to markets with some of the strictest requirements you can imagine.”
Farm Pak President Carson Barnes and Jose Calderon, international sales manager, accepted the award on behalf of the company.
Formed in 1969 as the sales and brokering arm of Barnes Farming, Farm Pak provides sweet potatoes for grocery, produce and foodservice outlets across the country and internationally.
Barnes Farming Corp. started in 1960 with less than one acre of sweet potatoes. Today, the company is the world’s largest grower, packer and shipper of sweet potatoes, with more than 5,000 acres in production.