Russet Potato to sell Wisconsin cranberries - The Packer

Russet Potato to sell Wisconsin cranberries

08/07/2009 02:21:34 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Russet Potato Exchange is adding cranberries to its roster of products.


 Courtesy Russet Potato Exchange

The Bancroft, Wis.-based grower and shipper of potatoes and onions is partnering with The Cranberry Network to sell fall cranberries grown by Tomah, Wis.-based Habelman Bros. Co. 

Beginning in late September, Russet plans to ship the cranberries from Habelman’s Tomah or Black River Falls, Wis., packing operations as well as from cross-docking in Bancroft, located an hour’s drive away from the cranberry production, said Rachel Leach, Russet’s marketing manager.

Leach said Russet expects to ship 300,000 cases of bulk or 12-ounce and three-pound consumer packs packed under the Habelman Bros. label.

Though promotable volume hits in October and November, Wisconsin ships smaller volumes in September and in December.

Russet plans to guarantee supplies through Christmas, concurrently through Russet’s potato harvest season, Leach said.

She said the partnership makes sense given Wisconsin’s challenging transportation and logistics issues.

“We have heard from our customers that sometimes have trouble getting consistent supplies of cranberries,” Leach said. “They also have to pay extra for less-than-truckload shipments. It just seems a logical fit if we’re providing one service, why not provide another Wisconsin product?”

In 2007, Habelman — which calls itself the world’s largest fresh cranberry grower  — left cranberry cooperative Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., Middleboro, Mass., and turned its marketing over to The Cranberry Network, which continues to market Habelman's cranberries.

Habelman, a fourth-generation family operation, began operation in 1907.

Russet also plans to make changes to its corporate identity later in August, Leach said.



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