Senator Murray Announces USDA Cranberry Purchase

May 10 2002

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

(WASHINTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for purchasing 25 million pounds worth of cranberries and cranberry products.

The cranberry products will be distributed through the Child Nutrition Program and other domestic food assistance programs. The purchase will directly benefit 125 Washington state cranberry growers in Pacific and Grays Harbor counties.

"Cranberry producers in Washington state 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 and seniors will benefit from better nutrition."

On April 25, Senator Murray sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman urging additional purchases of cranberry products by USDA in the coming weeks. Murray also supported a one-year direct assistance package for cranberry producers.

As a result of the collective action by Congress, the industry, and USDA, cranberry prices are rebounding and the industry is showing a slight recovery. USDA purchases have been a critical part of the industry's revival.