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Wisconsin Hosts International Cranberry Buyers
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 10/27/2017

State cranberry growers and other industry officials are hoping to capitalize on a visit from Chinese and Indian businessman who were in Wisconsin this week on a trade mission. The group of 20 food buyers and media personnel were part of an international Reverse Trade Mission hosted by the U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee and Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.

During their trip, the group visited Cutler Cranberry in Camp Douglas, as well as Ocean Spray's receiving and manufacturing facility in Tomah. They also met with University of Wisconsin scientists and staff from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.

"It is my pleasure to welcome our guests from India and China to Wisconsin this week," said Interim State Agriculture Secretary Jeff Lyon. "Cranberries are an integral part of Wisconsin's agricultural history, heritage and economy, and efforts like this will help ensure that the industry continues to thrive for years to come."

WSCGA Director Tom Lochner says a surplus crop and lower domestic demand for cranberry products have reduced cranberry prices in recent years, which makes it difficult for growers to make a profit. He feels that increasing marketing efforts overseas can help turn the market around for the industry.

"We've seen international outreach efforts pay off. In the past decade, cranberry exports from Wisconsin have more than doubled," Lochner said. "While that is encouraging, we know there is still work to be done, which is why it is important for the industry to continue working together on efforts like this."

The United States is projected to harvest approximately 9 million barrels of cranberries this season, with Wisconsin accounting for over half of that crop.

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