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Government to State: We Want More of Your Cranberries

Massachusetts delegation applauds the government's decision to buy more cranberries.

United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and William "Mo" Cowan, along with Congressmen James McGovern, William Keating, and Joseph P. Kennedy III, Friday applauded the decision of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to purchase up to $5 million of cranberry concentrate for federal nutrition assistance programs, including food banks.

"I'm pleased the USDA has announced plans to buy cranberry products for federal nutrition assistance programs," said Senator Warren. "This purchase will help support hardworking cranberry growers throughout Massachusetts who play an important role in our local economy and will provide our children with another drink alternative."

"While meeting and talking with cranberry growers in the Commonwealth this week, I saw first-hand how critical their work is to our agriculture industry and overall economy, and what a fine and storied tradition we have of cranberry farming," said Senator Cowan. "This investment will go a long way in helping growers get the support they need to continue to produce this important and nutritional crop." 

"Cranberry production is a critical component of Massachusetts' agricultural economy," said Congressman McGovern.  "I applaud the USDA for this decision, which will also benefit our food insecure neighbors."

"Cranberry growers are a vibrant part of the 4th District's economy and a critical industry for our Commonwealth," said Congressman Kennedy. "I applaud the USDA for bringing cranberry products to this country's federal nutrition assistance programs."

"I applaud the announcement by the USDA to purchase cranberry concentrate - a decision that will directly assist cranberry growers across the Commonwealth," said Congressman Keating. "I represent the largest number of cranberry growers across the state and have co-founded the Congressional Cranberry Caucus to help these small business owners and this historic industry.  It is great to see the efforts of the Caucus finally pay off."

In March, a group of 14 U.S. Senators and Representatives, including Senators Warren and Cowan, and Congressmen McGovern, Keating, and Kennedy, signed a letter asking Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to purchase cranberry concentrate to support local cranberry growers. The letter was sent in response to possible adverse impacts on cranberry prices expected during the coming months. The full of text of this letter may be viewed here.

deb of see-attleboro May 06, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Maybe there would be no surplus if a can of cranberry sauce was still 15 oz or more. Maybe throw a few more cranberries into that 12oz bag I have in my freezer. Will this be a windfall for the corn industry, as well? Cranberry products often contain high fructose corn syrup. These will inevitably end up on a school lunch plate somewhere. Oh well. One fruit and one vegetable to meet those "stringent" government guidelines.
Tina Mqs May 06, 2013 at 02:38 PM
I don't think it's a food/drink/taste that appeals to too many people. We can't subsidize everything. Grow what the market will support. No subsidy. no waste.
Pat Maguire Parrie May 06, 2013 at 02:58 PM
I'm generally not overly picky, but doesn't accompanying photograph depict cherries, not cranberries?
paul May 06, 2013 at 03:02 PM
If our government is involved, a Cranberry Czar with a full staff will be appointed.
BH May 06, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Those are indeed cherries.
HJ May 06, 2013 at 04:36 PM
The people will receive the cranberry products and I bet most will be tossed in the trash. Maybe if there was a Cranberry Hawaiian Punch the people would like it.
Pat Maguire Parrie May 06, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Thanks for the confirmation. Sometimes of late, I am afraid I am becoming one of the infamous 'sheeple'...believing something simply because it appears in print! Egads, now Washington state will take offense that MA confused cranberries with cherries, and they, too, will want MORE government subsidies for their cherry crops! Slippery slopes? But that's yet another blog topic! :o)
Steve LaVigne May 06, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Massachusetts cranberry growers are one of the biggest environment criminals in Massachusetts. Run of river bogs do more to pollute waterways with pesticides and kill anadromous fish like herring and alewives with the constant damming of the rivers than you can imagine. Thanks Senator Warren for helping to take care of our environment. Appreciate it.
Carol Bragg May 06, 2013 at 06:58 PM
Spotted wing drosophila have arrived in New England and are attacking strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries and other soft fruits, turning them to mush at the time of harvest. They don't seem to like cranberries. Best not to confuse fruit flies into thinking that cranberries are cherries.
deb of see-attleboro May 06, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Might make more sense to take the 5 mil and help farmers protect the fruits that humans (and birds) can eat right off the vine. I don't know anyone who enjoys a fresh bowl of cranberries.
Carol Bragg May 06, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Apparently not the fruit flies. Fresh cranberries are okay sprinkled into turkey stuffing, thrown into anadama bread and in orange-cranberry relish. Other than that, who knows? I'm sure small fruit growers would appreciate your suggestion. The cranberries are exported. The small fruit eaten locally I would guess.
Tina Mqs May 06, 2013 at 11:27 PM
lol- yup!
Melanie D May 08, 2013 at 12:48 PM
I was about to say the same thing!

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