Fresh Solutions Network’s Kathleen Triou Divulges How Farmers Build a Strong Supply Chain
NEWPORT BEACH, CA - When looking at a business, it’s easy to take in the growth, success, and power it exhibits. However, I believe that in order to reach that grandeur, it takes a solid foundation. This is the sentiment I get from Kathleen Triou, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fresh Solutions Network (FSN).
As both a trade news writer and a consumer, I often think of FSN as synonymous with Side Delights®, the marketing and solutions provider’s fresh potato and onion brand. But after talking with Kathleen on multiple occasions, I now think of Basin Gold, Sun-Glo of Idaho, NoKota Packers, Michael Family Farms, Sterman Masser Potato Farms, and Mack Farms.
“With these essential partners in our Network, we have control and surety of supply, and that is important to us and to our buy-side partners,” Kathleen tells me. “We provide nutritious potatoes year-round thanks to our farmers. They own their own land and are vertically integrated, which means they have control over the food safety and quality of their potatoes. During times of short supplies, our retail and foodservice customers can count on us to deliver on our promise.”
The Network was built to offer national coverage and regional relevance. As each grower partner is situated in different parts of the country, the supply chain remains strong, and each potato variety is grown in an optimal climate.
“Our partners grow the highest quality potatoes used in our portfolio,” Kathleen continues. “It’s more than just where it’s grown, it’s also how it’s grown. Farmers are on the front line of fresh produce. Every day, they are out on the fields providing the nourishment we all need. That commitment shines through the produce we provide on the shelf; we back our quality with the surety of supply to our customers.”
Without the partners’ efforts—and those throughout the industry—life would be much more difficult. This situation was extremely evident throughout 2020 as slowdowns and tight supplies impacted the supply chain; this can still be felt today.
But their efforts are not unnoticed. Shoppers are actively showing interest in where their produce is coming from and the people that are making it possible. Marketing and promotional efforts focusing on the locality of the product satisfy the shopper’s curiosity and demand for traceability.
“Consumers are continuing to cook more at home, but their curiosity of where their produce comes from is becoming more evident,” notes Kathleen. “They want to know the face behind the products they’ve come to love, and that builds brand loyalty. Quality and flavor are huge factors in selecting a product from the shelf, and now brand and farmer familiarity are often a deciding factor. We here at FSN want to continue building that loyalty, both for our customers and consumers.”
And in this way, growers themselves get to advocate for their hard work, and that is something we at ANUK stand behind.