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Russian buyer delegation introduced to US cranberry production

US Cranberries representatives announced a multi-day tour during Massachusetts’ harvest season to introduce Russian buyers to North America’s native cranberry. The American cranberry (Vaccinium macracarpon) is only one of three commercially cultivated native fruits. The other two are the blueberry (Vaccinium cyanoccoccus) and Concord grape (Vitis labrusca).

“Russian consumers are already familiar with their own native variety which is a popular mainstay of the Russian diet,” said Scott J. Soares, Executive Director, US Cranberries. “Our goal is to broaden consumer awareness and to build on Russia’s cranberry tradition with our American cranberry in all its versatile forms.”

Massachusetts is at the peak of harvest season with a projected forecast of 210 million pounds. Some growers have noted that this year’s berries are slightly smaller than last year’s due to cloudy and wet weather in early summer, but early harvest reports indicate good quality and color for the incoming crop.

“The Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association (CCCGA), is proud to cooperate with the US Cranberries organization to host the Russian delegation,” said Paul Kindinger, Executive Director of the CCCGA. “We are delighted that the Russian delegation has chosen Massachusetts for their visit of cranberry production in the U.S. since we are a major production area and home to some of the largest processor/distributors of cranberry products in the world.”

The total projected harvest for US cranberries in 2013 is over 800 million pounds. In concert with the cranberry industry and Cranberry Marketing Committee members, a number of programs have been launched to raise awareness about the versatility and health benefits of the cranberry in key international markets.

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