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Pistachio Industry Looks Toward a Promising 2009 Crop Year
Date:7/1/2009

FRESNO, Calif., July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- With the 2009 pistachio harvest little more than two months away, pistachio growers and processors are anticipating a promising crop year with production expected to exceed 2008 levels. Growing conditions have been excellent and are expected to yield a high-quality crop of nutrient-rich pistachios to meet increasing demand.

Harvest for this year's pistachio crop will begin in September and is estimated at more than 425 million pounds with rising wholesale prices due to tight global supply. The Western Pistachio Association (WPA) reports domestic and international prices have risen due to continued strong consumer demand for pistachio's nutritional benefits and appetite appeal.

"We are on track for a vintage pistachio season in terms of crop quality," said pistachio grower and Chairman of the WPA, Mike Woolf of California Valley Land Company in Huron, CA. "Harvest lies before us, of course, but indications of a good year are strong - especially considering stable-to-slightly increased pistachio acreage, as well as cooperative weather throughout the growing season."

While preparing for the upcoming harvest, the industry is also enhancing its food safety procedures to coincide with the arrival of the new crop this fall.

"Nearly a decade ago, in 2000, the U.S. pistachio industry was progressive in establishing proactive food safety practices; today our industry is determined to make those practices and procedures stronger than ever," said Richard Matoian, WPA Executive Director. "As an industry, we are bolstering food safety guidelines to ensure pistachios are uncompromisingly safe, wholesome and delicious - just as the food industry and consumers should expect."

Earlier this year, the pistachio industry was affected by its first-ever precautionary recall due to potential Salmonella contamination. However, the U.S. Food and Drug
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SOURCE Western Pistachio Association
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