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OPN Connect Newsletter 194 · November 26, 2020

Doreva Produce Specializes in Organic Yams and Sweet Potatoes


It was back in 1976 when father and son Joe and Stan Silva started Doreva Produce, and over the past four decades, three generations of the family have worked at the company, which today offers a full line of yams and sweet potatoes out of Livingston, California.

Its offerings include organic yams and sweet potatoes including Diane Reds, Covingtons, Charleston Purples, Orientals, Bonitas and O’Henrys.

“Our success has come from hard work in the field and pride of tradition in bringing quality produce to our satisfied customers,” said Benjamin J. Silva, son of Stan, and current co-owner of the company.

Stemilt January 2021

 Aaron, Stan, and Ben Silva (from left to right)

Doreva Produce aims to reduce its environmental footprint and has started implementing more conscious practices that aid in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

“From our field practices, we have voluntarily substituted most of our synthetic nitrogen fertilizers for organic compost,” Silva said. “This substitution alone seeks to reduce the contamination of water sources within the local communities and reduce N2O emissions that have proven to be key factors in the rise of global warming. The idea is to commit to more sustainable agriculture practices and offer our customers a more conscious product that is both appealing [and] a more health-conscious product for the consumer and the environment.”

Chelan Fresh January 2021

“Our success has come from hard work in the field and pride of tradition in bringing quality produce to our satisfied customers.” -Benjamin J. Silva

Silva noted Doreva Produce is very important in today’s industry because it not only facilitates and supports the growth of its many local growers but also fosters sustainability. The company uses environmentally friendly packaging, minimizes water usage, is incorporating more battery-powered equipment in its operations, and is taking steps towards eliminating the need for petroleum-based products.

Doreva Produce organic yams and sweet potatoes

Valent January 2021

“We were also the first organic packing house in our sweet potato industry here on the West Coast to implement solar power, helping to achieve practices that aid in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as reducing our carbon footprint,” Silva said. “Our company's goal [of eliminating petroleum products] also makes us an important factor in the reduction of climate change. Our rapid innovation and farming practices allow us to mitigate the role of agriculture in climate change.”

“The idea is to commit to more sustainable agriculture practices and offer our customers a more conscious product that is both appealing [and] a more health-conscious product for the consumer and the environment.” -Benjamin J. Silva

In the past few years, Doreva Produce has made tremendous strides in growing its organic fresh product category by increasing its organic acreage and expanding its organically grown varieties.

“Today, we offer all of the five main varieties in both conventional and organic formats, [and we are] implementing new value-added lines and other products for the retail space as well,” Silva said.

Shenandoah Growers Jan2021

Doreva Produce organic sweet potatoes

Some of the challenges the company faces operating in California include increasing costs of production, increases in minimum wage that will reach $15/hour in January of 2022 (its currently at $13/hour), lower product pricing, and increased regulations.

“You name it, I’m sure we’re facing it here in California,” Silva said. “And with limited farm products to supplement or replace conventional fertilizers and replacing conventional pesticides with effective OMRI-approved products, it’s no easy task these days [to grow] a successful crop of organic sweet potatoes.”   

“Our company's goal [of eliminating petroleum products] also makes us an important factor in the reduction of climate change. Our rapid innovation and farming practices allow us to mitigate the role of agriculture in climate change.” -Benjamin J. Silva

Naturesafe January 2021

Thankfully, the opportunities in the organic arena are abundant.