January 2021: The Produce Moms Podcast Month in Review
Let’s take a look back at our January 2021 Podcast Episodes.
2020 was a whirlwind, but we are now walking into a new year with new energy and hopefully a focus on getting the world healthy again!
The Produce Moms kicked off 2021 with, you guessed it, moms of produce! Six of the most incredible moms in our industry sat down together to discuss the trials and tribulations COVID-19 has brought them as career women and as mothers. Now, more than ever, the produce industry needs to think about moms first. Whether it’s letting a nursing mom take breaks during the day that fit her feeding schedule or making sure marketing materials are empathetic to current situations, produce companies can do their job in providing healthy, nutritious produce along with the support moms need right now.
When it comes to the health of our world, that includes the health of our environment. Jeff Watkin, the Director of Marketing at Sev-Rend, shared with us a new and exciting innovation called Bio-Able Solutions. Bio-Able Solutions a line of products that lets current plastic structures fully degrade in almost any environment. “Bio-Able Solutions” leaves behind NO microplastics and instead of taking years to decompose and break down, it can completely degrade in a 24-month long period. They’re working hard to provide product packaging that will soon include Bio-Able Solutions to make the produce industry one of the most sustainable, eco and environmentally friendly around.
Did you know the Produce Moms played a role in naming a new and exciting fruit? Yes, the MandaRosa, a citrus fruit cultivated from a blood orange and a clementine, has its name because of you! This beautiful and luscious fruit has a mandarin’s exterior, but when you cut into it, the fruit is either dark red, like sangria, or a blended ombre, like a tequila sunrise. MandaRosa’s are in season all through February, making for the perfect Valentine’s fruit and a healthy one at that!
Kevin Stanger, President of Wada Farms, sat down with us to discuss the healthy, delicious varieties of potatoes they grow in, you guessed it, Idaho. Wada Farms was established in 1943 by Frank Wada, a Japanese immigrant. Originally, Frank started in 1922 in California, but during World War Two when many Japanese were being sent to concentration camps, Frank headed north to Idaho where the farm now has 30,000 acres today. 10,000 of those acres are dedicated to russet potatoes, reds, yellows, fingerlings, organic varieties and “chippers”, which are grown for bars and restaurants to make fresh-cut fries or chips.
Stefanie Katzman is a fourth-generation family member of S. Katzman Produce, a produce industry wholesale and distribution staple in New York City. This 120-year-old icon sells more than 2,000 produce and speciality items. Stefanie is passionate about helping people try new and exciting produce, or items they may have never been exposed to before. She also shares how S. Katzman is always thinking about making the lives of their customers better. For example, they started offering free deliveries to buyers who were typically small, supermarket owners, driving all through the night and working the register all day just to keep operations running. S. Katzman partnered with the Dream Charter School in Harlem and the Bronx, too, providing children and their families with weekly boxes of produce before and during COVID-19.
Keep reading to find out more about January’s great lineup of guests! Learn about some delicious, new fruits, classic produce favorites, companies giving back and how the produce industry can empathize with moms during this pandemic.
January 2021 Podcast Episode 134: Moms Are Drowning, But the Produce Industry Can Help
Welcoming the new year with the Moms of Produce
The Produce Moms podcast welcomed six, powerful, triumphant moms to discuss the changes and challenges they’ve had while enduring the pandemic and why the produce industry needs to make helping moms an urgent matter. There are moms from all around the world with kids of all ages, some who are learning online and some too young, but on their way! These moms have had career changes, schedule changes and some have even stepped away from C-suite roles to be able to better parent their kids.
Balancing motherhood, household duties and working from home has been tough on us all and these moms share some enlightening tips for the produce industry to make the shopping experience better. Making sure companies don’t appear tone-deaf in their marketing is essential right now as well as being empathetic and compassionate towards employees that are moms.
January 2021 Podcast Episode 135: Creating Long-Term Sustainability
Making sustainability a non-negotiable
Sure, there are a lot of brands and initiatives out there using products that are eco-friendly or recyclable, but we could still be making a bigger impact on sustainability long term. Sev-Rend is a printing and converting manufacturer specializing in packaging for the produce industry who started out as a manufacturer of tags, labels and nettings for produce, like you’d see containing a bag of onions or potatoes.
Because of Sev-Rend’s passion to create sustainable packaging, they’re in the midst of launching “Bio-Able Solutions” a line of products that lets current plastic structures fully degrade in almost any environment. “Bio-Able Solutions” leaves behind NO microplastics and can completely degrade in a 24-month long period, which is much shorter than the years it typically takes for plastics to break down.
No one can control how anyone disposes of plastic waste, but by creating this new solution for biodegradable plastic and educating as much as possible and Jeff Watkin, the Director of Marketing at Sev-Rend, shares with us how Bio-Able Solutions is rolling out, what sustainability has to do with profitability, and more.
January 2021 Podcast Episode 136: All Things Citrus and the Beauty of Mandarosas
The perfect fruit for Valentine’s Day
Have you ever heard of a MandaRosa? This beautiful and luscious fruit is part of the mandarin family and was named, in part, by The Produce Moms community! MandaRosa is a specialty citrus fruit that is naturally cultivated from a blood orange and a clementine (its official varietal name is a Mandared variety).
Kim Flores, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for the Pro Citrus Network, approached The Produce Moms with the opportunity to ask our audience what to name this new and exciting fruit! This beautiful fruit has an exterior similar to a mandarin, but when you cut into it, it’s as red as a glass of wine. Sometimes, the fruit has an ombre shade and looks like a tequila sunrise!
Not only is it perfect for Valentine’s day because of its gorgeous color and delicious flavor, the MandaRosa is extremely high in anthocyanins which are the most powerful antioxidants in nature!
January 2021 Podcast Episode 137: The Magic Gold of Potatoes
Idaho potatoes are pure gold
Who doesn’t love the delicious flavor and heartiness of an Idaho russet potato? Wada Farms, which was established in 1943 by Frank Wada, an immigrant from Japan, grows their infamous potatoes on 10,000 of the farm’s 30,000 acres. Russets, reds, yellows, fingerlings and organic varieties are all included in each year’s potato harvesting. Even more interesting, Wada now grows “chippers”, a variety of potatoes specifically grown for restaurants and bars who want to make their own fresh-cut fries and fresh-cut potato chips.
As long as they’re stored in a cool and dark enough environment, potatoes can last weeks! That’s why potatoes are found almost all year round. Wada stores about 375 million pounds of potatoes each year in their dark, cold storage facilities. If you want to store your potatoes at home, try to keep them somewhere dark and cool, like a basement or a garage.
Kevin Stanger, President of Wada Farms, also shared with us on The Produce Moms how nutrient-dense and healthy potatoes are. They’re filled with good (yes, good!) sources of carbohydrates, are certified heart-healthy from the American Heart Institute, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and high in potassium.
One of the most passionate produce industry icons
Katzman Produce is a New York City staple and industry icon. The wholesale and distribution company was started by Executive Vice President Stefanie Katzman’s great grandfather 120 years ago out of his wagon. Today, the company has over 375 employees and more than 2,000 items they sell. Stefanie is passionate about helping people try new and exciting produce, or items they may have never been exposed to before.
She’s equally as passionate about helping children and those who can’t help themselves, which is why S. Katzman Produce has partnered with the Dream Charter School in Harlem and the Bronx. Their partnership has helped S. Katzman Produce provide children and their families with weekly boxes of produce before and during COVID-19.
The feedback has been incredible! Some families are reporting they lost weight and are enjoying the best health of their life. Plus, Stefanie tries to include produce the children might have never seen before in their boxes, like the lychee nut, which she included an instructional video with since first-timers might not know how to open them!
To see a list of all our past episodes, visit www.theproducemoms.com/podcast/