(April 11, 6:25 p.m., PACKER WEB EXCLUSIVE) Habelman Bros. Co., Tomah, Wis., finally has a new sales agent.
Blake Johnston, principal in The Cranberry Network LLC, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., said Habelman had entered into a sales and marketing agreement with his company.
“It’s providing us with an opportunity we’ve been looking for for a while,” he said. “The biggest challenge we’ve had hasn’t been on the sales side but on the supply side.”
Johnston said fresh cranberry supplies have dwindled in the past 20 years because of increased demand for juice and dried product. He declined to comment on Habelman’s specific production numbers but estimated the grower is responsible for one-third of the nation’s fresh crop. He also said that adding Habelman will push The Cranberry Network’s annual volume to about 600,000 cases.
Habelman left Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., Lakeview-Middleboro, Mass., late last year after 48 years with the cooperative.
Johnston said his company is working with Habelman to develop a new label for the grower.