Dave Yeager sees Farm Fresh Direct in an ongoing 'growth mode'
by Kathleen Thomas Gaspar | January 11, 2011
From his Atlanta office, Dave Yeager, new vice president of business
development for Colorado-based Farm Fresh Direct LLC, said in early January
that he sees his role with the potato distributor as a busy one.
"It's definitely in growth mode," Mr. Yeager, who came on board with Farm
Fresh Direct in November 2010, said of the operation. He will continue to
work from his Georgia office.
“I will be working in sales and marketing,” he said, noting that he is
responsible for directing all new business development. After more than two
decades in the produce industry, Mr. Yeager brings experienced gained in
positions at Chiquita, Del Monte and NewStar Fresh Foods to his role at Farm
His educational background is in computer science and business, and the
Midwesterner started his produce career with Chiquita. Later he was part of
the Del Monte team and then moved to NewStar.
Regarding Farm Fresh, Mr. Yeager said that at the time of his 2010 hiring, he
was “exited to join an organization with a track record of success with huge
Jim Knutzon, Farm Fresh president and chief executive officer, said that Mr.
Yeager has “strong relationships with key retailers that are second to none.
We feel very fortunate to have him become a member of our senior
In late December, Mr. Knutzon also addressed the current shipping season
and told The Produce News that Farm Fresh Direct is “doing well with volume,
pulling from other areas and from Colorado, which is our mainstay.”
Quality, he said, is good. “Last year we saw some frost damage, and this year
there have been reports of pink rot, but it’s nothing that can’t be managed,”
Mr. Knutzon said.
Organics are also faring well, he said. “We had a good crop, and we also have
good supplies,” Mr. Knutzon said. Farm Fresh Direct ships certified organic
potatoes out of Colorado from September though July.
The Colorado operation is in a joint venture with Idaho-based Wada Farms for
retail category management, and Mr. Knutzon said that the remainder of the
2010-11 shipping season should see adequate supplies “if all the numbers
stay where they are now.”
He added, “We’re not long. But if prices get too high, retail will slow down.”
Mr. Knutzon also touched on exports to Mexico. “It’s still a pretty strong
market,” he said, adding that easing the 26-kilometer “frontier zone” could
result in more trade.