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Richard Leibowitz is looking forward to the Produce Marketing Association's Foodservice Conference & Exposition.

Mr. Leibowitz, managing director of the newly formed Specialty Potato Alliance, based in Mountainside, NJ, told The Produce News that the organization will use the conference to introduce its products and its founding members, who are comprised of North America's premier growers and distributors of specialty potatoes.

The alliance's founders -- comprised of two growers, a broker and a distributor -- are excited about meeting new customers, he said, adding that its initial focus will be on fingerling potato varieties from heirloom and new varietal stock.

"The name Specialty Potato Alliance really represents our group, because that is truly what we are," Mr. Leibowitz said. "We are devoted to the development of the market and are working together to provide a year-round, price- stable family of products for foodservice and retail on a daily basis so there will be no gaps in the fingerling market."

The Specialty Potato Alliance will initially offer four varieties of fingerings - French Fingerling, Purple Peruvian, Russian Banana and Ruby Crescent - under the "Specialty Potato Alliance," "Les Bons Petits" and "Culinary Harvest" labels.

A new potato variety, the Red Rebel, will make its debut at the PMA foodservice conference.

The alliance will pack year round in Los Angeles and Bakersfield, CA, and in Colorado from October through May. It will have forward distribution on both the East Coast and West Coast, and will have the capability for less-than- load and just-in-time deliveries. It also has its own traceability program.