Prune marketers stress quality, safety

Posted on October 28, 2009 by


The key to success in the highly competitive world prune market is quality and food safety, and California’s prune sector stresses both of those elements as it markets its production.

“Historically, it has been people over age 65 who have consumed most of the prunes, but we are trying to appeal to younger people by emphasizing the health and nutrition aspect of prunes,” says Rich Peterson, executive director of the California Dried Plum Board. “The key for us is quality and food safety. There are safeguards and regulations in California that ensure that our product is the highest quality, the most consistent quality on the market. When you compare that to Chile and Argentina, they can’t even compete.”

Peterson points out that it is only in America that this fruit is marketed as dried plums. Everywhere else in the world, they are called prunes.

California currently has about 900 prune growers and 21 processors. There are 64,000 bearing acres in California, with most located in two primary production areas—the Sacramento Valley (Butte, Sutter and Yuba counties) and San Joaquin Valley (Fresno, Madera and Tulare counties). California grows virtually all of the prunes produced in the United States.


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