Cranberry grower Ben Rezin of Cranmoor Cranberry Company, Cranmoor, fourth from left, talks Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013 to a group of South Korean journalists while standing inside a boom that has collected cranberries at a Cranmoor Cranberry Company marsh in Cranmoor, Wis.
CRANMOOR, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin cranberry farmers hosted a group of South Korean journalists this week as part of an effort to expand exports to that country.
The United States exported more than 15,400 barrels of cranberries to South Korea last year, up from 200 barrels in 2003, according to Daily Tribune Media. Wisconsin is the nation’s top cranberry producer.
Ben Rezin, whose family owns Cranmoor Cranberries, said he was happy to give six journalists a tour of his marshes on Tuesday.
“The Asian market is the next big thing,” Rezin said. “If we can spread that word to the journalists over there, and they can spread the word, it would be huge.”
The journalists also toured the Jacob Searles Cranberry Co. and Gottschalk Cranberry Inc., where they saw berries being harvested.
Shin Chung, of the Cranberry Marketing Council in South Korea, said one impressive thing about the farms was the size. South Korean farms are typically about 2.5 acres, he said. Cranmoor Cranberries has about 2,000 acres.
Chung also said the perception of cranberries as a healthy food appeals to South Korean consumers, who are health-oriented.
“Anything that is oriented for health, we are crazy for that food,” Chung said.