News Releases

Senator Murray Announces $7 Million USDA Cranberry Purchase

May 09 2001

Purchase means better childhood nutrition and fairer prices for Washington state fruit producers

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for purchasing more than $7 million worth of cranberry juice concentrate. The juice concentrate will be distributed to the Child Nutrition Program and other related domestic food assistance efforts.

"Cranberry producers are working hard to bring down surpluses in their industry and raise producer prices," said Murray. "This USDA purchase is a win-win situation. Producers are one step closer to getting fair prices for their product and children will benefit from better nutrition."

Last year's USDA spending bill included a large emergency relief package for agricultural producers. Senator Murray worked with colleagues in the House and Senate to include two types of relief for cranberry producers. The relief package requires the USDA to dedicate $30 million to the purchase of cranberry juice concentrate and frozen cranberry fruit for domestic nutrition programs and $20 million in market loss payments to cranberry growers.

Cranberry producers are currently seeking federal assistance to reduce fruit production in the 2001 growing season. Senator Murray will call upon the USDA to act on the producers' request. If enacted, this policy will help to reduce oversupply in the cranberry industry and raise prices.