Dole Fresh Vegetables clarified for me what labels means by "freshness" and "premium" on 5 lb bags of Dole Premium Red Potatoes....
The spokesperson was one of many licensees to whom Dole sells its brand.
Freshness is a "marketing term," not an indicator of when the potatoes were first harvested. For example, he said had the bag contained russet potatoes, the potatoes would have been dug up in October of 2009, kept "dormant" in underground shelters, eventually shipped from Idaho to my supermarket in New Jersey for the purchase I made in May 2010. Fresh from start to whenever finish occurs. Since I bought red potatoes, they were grown more recently in California--most likely in the same year as my purchase. Fresh, in any case at any time.
Premium, as applied to potatoes, describes size, not quality. Based on the variations in my bag, premium applies equally to ping-pong ball size to hardball size. (The spokesperson said a few small ones can slip in.)
My toll-free call to Dole was originally about quality and labels. The potatoes were green. He said that from was from supermarket lighting. The potatoes were picked ripe and discolored by exposure indoor lighting. After all that they had been through, it was no surprise they were also tasteless.
Dole is sending a refund check. The potatoes will also be returned for a cash refund on my next "buy-and-return" trip to the market.