New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today highlighted Jersey Fresh peaches and National Peach Month with a visit to Eastern Pro Pak in Gloucester County. Secretary Fisher and state and local officials toured the fruit packing facility to emphasize that Jersey Fresh peaches are readily available.
“Eastern Pro Pak maintains the very highest standards for the fruit distribution industry,” Secretary Fisher said. “The amount of Jersey Fresh peaches that flow through here demonstrates the peach production that takes place in the Garden State. Facilities like this give consumers all along the East Coast and Canada the opportunity to enjoy our super-delicious peaches. Our farmers produce high volume yields of the best quality.”
New Jersey was No. 2 in the nation in peach production value last year at $44 million. The USDA has projected New Jersey to harvest approximately 64 million pounds of peaches this year, which would be about an 8-million-pound increase from 2017.
Eastern Pro Pak completed an expansion in the spring and now boasts a 170,000-square foot facility. The expansion added 70,000 square feet. It now includes a two-lane tunnel that connects the new facility to what was already in place. The expansion also allows Eastern Pro Pak and the Jersey Fruit Co-op to keep pace with market demands. The Jersey Fruit Co-op, which was established in 1940, supplies produce to Eastern Pro Pak and is the largest shipper of peaches and nectarines in New Jersey.
“The expansion of the production facility was something that we really needed,” said Eastern Pro Pak General Manager Jeff Danner. “It’s already paying dividends with the amount of produce that we can distribute in a short amount of time. The fact that our equipment is state of the art is a tremendous asset to the members of the Jersey Fruit Co-op and others who supply us with their produce.”
The peach season for New Jersey lasts through the end of September. There are approximately 80 peach orchards in New Jersey with growers producing more than 100 different types of peaches. About 90 percent of those peaches are the yellow and white varieties.
Go to www.FindJerseyFresh.com to see where Jersey Fresh peaches are available locally and to find recipes that include great tasting Jersey Fresh peaches.