Cranberry Overload Spurs U.S. Producers To Dump Extra Supply
Cranberries might be a staple on Thanksgiving tables, but a glut of U.S. supplies has gotten so large that fruit could be headed to the compost pile.
Just as demand is hitting its seasonal peak, American processors are anxiously awaiting government approval that would allow them to turn excess fruit into fertilizer. The programme would be the first of its kind for cranberries.
Supplies have piled up amid bountiful U.S. harvests and a surge in imports. Inventories were large enough to top consumption before farmers even started gathering this year’s crop in September.
The overhang prompted growers and processors to vote in favor of the disposal program at a biannual meeting of the Cranberry Marketing Committee in August. The U.S. Department of Agriculture could rubber-stamp the proposal as early as this week.
“The order will allow the industry to get back into supply and demand balance,” said Kellyanne Dignan, the director of global cooperative communications at Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., the largest U.S. producer and processor, and a name that’s become almost synonymous with the fruit.