New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher highlighted Jersey Fresh peaches and National Peach Month with a visit to Eastern Propak in Gloucester County recently. Secretary Fisher and local officials toured the fruit packing facility to emphasize that Jersey Fresh peaches are readily available.
“Eastern Propak’s ability to move a high volume of peaches through this facility plays an essential role by providing farmers an outlet to deliver their crop and serving as a pipeline allowing retailers quick access to this delicious New Jersey fruit,” Secretary Fisher said. “Eastern Propak maintains the highest of standards while supplying Jersey Fresh peaches to consumers all along the East Coast and into Canada.”
New Jersey is annually in the top five in the nation in peach production. According to the USDA, New Jersey farmers harvested 36 million pounds of peaches on 3,900 acres for a production value of $26 million in 2020.
Eastern Propak boasts a 170,000- square-foot facility. An expansion in 2018 added 70,000 square feet, allowing the addition of a new blueberry line with top seal capability in addition to a high-speed peach packing line and custom grading and citrus repacking lines. The expansion also allows Eastern Propak 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 Propak and is the largest shipper of peaches and nectarines in New Jersey.
“Our state-of-the-art Primus GFS certified production facility allows us to process large volumes of product in a short amount of time,” said Eastern Propak CEO Robert Kearney. “We have the latest equipment using cutting-edge technology to complement the excellent quality produce that is supplied to us by the Jersey Fruit Co-Op and others.”
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 findjerseyfresh.com to see where Jersey Fresh peaches are available locally and to find recipes that include Jersey Fresh peaches.