Wednesday, March 18 Update

  • Post Category:March 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted the nationwide food supply chain in unprecedented ways.

Across our commodity and specialty potato and onion categories, we are experiencing an extreme increase in demand. Many commodity potato growers and packing sheds idle their operations during spring/summer after their supplies have been sold and distributed.

In response to extraordinary demand, RPE has assisted partner sheds to mobilize workers or resume operations at idled facilities while expanding packing capacity among “pool grower” cooperative and other sheds.

  • Doing our part to keep our nation’s food supply chain adequately stocked means …
  • Crews at RPE partner sheds in all of the major growing states are working double shifts and six days per week.
  • Tasteful Selections in Arvin, Calif — where some pack lines currently are scheduled at 250% capacity — is packing potatoes and loading trucks on a 24/7 basis now and for the foreseeable future.

Expect supply gaps in stores as this pandemic unfolds.

Looking beyond the urgency of today, we have an obligation to notify all customers that recent influx in demand may contribute to summertime supply shortages as we approach the end of storage crop season.

RPE account managers and customer service agents will continue communicating daily — or multiple times per day as the situation warrants — with affected customers.

We are grateful for your patience and understanding during these challenging times.

Together in partnership,
RPE Sales & Marketing Management and Staff 

Our Tasteful Selections packing facility in Arvin, Calif. has experienced an extreme increase in demand for potatoes. We will continue doing everything possible to help you keep your warehouses and store shelves stocked.

Tasteful Selections has ample supplies. Production capacity is the challenge that will require a degree of patience and understanding by all stakeholders.

Actions taken since early March include:

  • 24/7 production since March 2 (three uninterrupted shifts of packing per day)
  • 24/7 packing operations for the foreseeable future
  • Retro-fitting the packing floor with additional pack lines

Currently some pack lines are scheduled at 250% capacity. There are no additional ways to increase capacity.

Please be prepared for 24- to 72-hour delays in getting orders packed, and for the possibility of pro-rated order fulfillment.

We will continue communicating daily — or multiple times per day as the situation warrants — with affected customers.

We are grateful for your understanding of the toll this unprecedented situation will have on production crews as we continue doing everything possible to keep our nation’s food supply chain adequately stocked, for the betterment of your retail operations and the families you serve.

Kindly,

Tasteful Selections Management and Staff

RPE Sales & Marketing Personnel