Tom Cullen, vice president of Thomas E. Moore in Dover, DE, told The Produce News June 2 that the company’s Florida potato deal was wrapping up and noted that quality has been strong.
“North Florida is on the tail end, and the crops have been very nice this year,” said Mr. Cullen. “The North Carolina crop is getting ready to start. It has been very dry there, but those crops also look nice, and conditions should be good for harvesting. We expect to get started there by the end of the second week of June.”
Mr. Cullen added that the firm’s Eastern Shore potato harvest in Cape Charles, VA, will start by June 15 and run for four to six weeks.
“The Eastern Shore crop is harvested, cooled for about a day and then shipped out,” said Mr. Cullen. “They are not stored for longer terms. This year’s crop is expected to be a little earlier than normal. It’s been pretty dry there as well, but the crop is looking very nice.”
Thomas E. Moore handles white, red, yellow and russet potatoes, and it also handles some sweet corn and melons from the Eastern Shore. Mr. Cullen said that all the crops appear to be in good condition this year, and the company is expecting strong movement.
Besides its Dover facility, Thomas E. Moore has an office in Mars Hill, ME, and a few other locations in Delaware. It ships under the “Everfresh” and “Tommy Tater” labels.
In addition to distributing produce, the company has a separate division that deals in buying and selling both new and used produce-handling equipment, such as roller picking tables, washers, conveyors, sizers and sewing machines, and stands for stitching paper potato bags. The division launched in 1985.
The company moves north along the U.S. East Coast for its seasonal supplies each year. “After finishing our crop movement in north Florida, we move into Elizabeth City, North Carolina,” said Mr. Cullen. “Then we start in the Cape Charles area, which is located at the southern tip of the Eastern Shore at about the same time. The following week we start in the northern part of the shore.”
Following its eastern shore movement, the firm transitions to Delaware and then Long Island in New York, which takes the company’s movement into September. It then moves to Maine and Canada, and it additionally sources from Michigan and Wisconsin.
“We also have operations in Texas and programs in Wisconsin, the New England area and in Quebec,” said Mr. Cullen.