October 2, 2014

New study details cranberry impact

A new study details the impact of cranberries on the state’s economy. The Fiscal and Economics Research Center at UW-Whitewater details the impact the industry has in Wisconsin, the nation’s leading producer of cranberries. Researchers found it provides more than 3800 full-time jobs. “These jobs are not low paid jobs, they’re paying $35,000 to $45,000 on average,” said Whitewater economics professor Russ Kashian.

The study found that the industry has an impact of $388 million on the state’s economy. “Not only do we grow cranberries, but we also have canneries and bottling facilities, and freezing facilities that process these and wholesale them to the retailers,” Kashian said.

Wisconsin has major cranberry growing and processing operations in seven counties. Wood County in central Wisconsin is the biggest producer, and is also home to three processing plants. “In the last ten years we’ve seen a gradual increase in the price of cranberries back to almost $50 a barrel,” said Kashian. “The demand is there.”