Wisconsin cranberry growers attract international visitors - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin cranberry growers attract international visitors

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) -

Top South Korean journalists paid a visit to a cranberry marsh in Wisconsin Rapids on Tuesday.

Officials with the Cranberry Marketing Committee say cranberries are becoming more popular in South Korea each year.

The American cranberry industry is aiming to increase the sale of cranberries in South Korea.

Tuesday's tour offered a chance to show the Korean journalists how the fruit is grown and harvested in Wisconsin.

Food experts say the fruit is growing in popularity in South Korea and opening up new opportunities to market the crop internationally.

"As more people in South Korea become familiar with cranberries and the health benefits that they yield, there's more demand for those health products overseas," said U.S. Cranberry Marketing Committee Executive Director Scott Soares.

The South Korean journalists visited the Cranmore Cranberry Company in Wisconsin Rapids. They climbed into the marshes to help rake the berries as they were harvested.

"I like the cranberry farms very much, it's a very extraordinary experience for me," said South Korean Journalist Taekyun Park.

Industry Experts add that international economies like South Korea's are continuing to improve each year.

Adding that improvement means people in those countries are seeking out healthier foods, like cranberries.

"We're continuing to see year on year increases, in fact just last year we had a 75 percent increase in fruit that was purchased and exported to South Korea," said Soares.

Last year the United States exported 240 million pounds of cranberries to South Korea.

Wisconsin, the nation's number one cranberry producer, is expected to harvest 490 million pounds of cranberries this fall.

"We're hoping to see the same kind of growth for the 2013 crop," Soares added.

The Korean journalists also watched a few central Wisconsin chefs use cranberries in different types of recipes.

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