Monday, November 05, 2007

look at these articles basically they are preparing us for the surge in price

US: Cranberry production surges on wave of demand

With candy-corn season past, the holiday feast season has begun, and that calls for a lot of cranberries.Washington produces many of its own cranberries in the state's southwest corner, where farmers expect this year's harvest to yield 180,000 barrels, or about 18 million pounds. It is the country's fifth-largest cranberry producer.Some will be sold fresh and used in cranberry sauce, but most become cranberry juice or dried, sweetened cranberries.This year, dried cranberries surpassed dried apricots as the country's second-most-popular dried fruit. They still trail raisins, which have more than 40 percent of the market, according to Grocery Headquarters Magazine.Part of cranberries' popularity comes from their recently discovered antioxidant value. By some measures, cranberries have more antioxidants than blueberries, a claim that ticks off some blueberry producers."Cranberries are upsetting some other berries, that's for sure," said Peter Guyer, president of Athena Marketing International in Seattle, a consulting firm for the food and beverage industry. Some players, even in the cranberry industry, want a standard measure for antioxidants so that consumers will know which claims to trust, Guyer said.Ocean Spray recently spent almost $18 million boosting production of its "Craisins" at a factory in Markham, near Aberdeen.More than half of Washington's cranberries become Craisins, estimated Kim Patten, a horticulture professor at Washington State University's extension unit on the Long Beach Peninsula.Still, during last week's sunny weather, Washington cranberry farmers harvested as many fresh cranberries as they could. Fresh cranberries bring prices 20 to 40 percent higher than those sold for processing, said Carl Waara, a fourth-generation cranberry farmer in Grayland.With vines dating back to 1925, Waara remains one of the state's few full-time cranberry farmers.Many were wiped out in a market crash about a decade ago. Others suffered from last year's anemic harvest, which came in about 39 percent below the prior year."Last year was the worst in history, for me personally and for most of the area," Waara said. His cranberries rebounded along with most of the state's crop this year.Source:

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