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Agricultural Review

Nash County sweet potato operator named Exporter of the Year

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has named a Nash County sweet potato grower and packer its 2009 Exporter of the Year.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler presented the award to officials of Farm Pak Products Inc., a division of Barnes Farming Corp., during the Ag Development Forum in early February. The department created the award to honor agriculture businesses that successfully export N.C. food products around the world.

In presenting the award, Troxler cited Farm Pak’s long record of successfully marketing sweet potatoes to the European Union, its commitment to quality, and its use of innovative branding and promotional methods.

“An exporter of fresh sweet potatoes faces many challenges,” Troxler said. “But Farm Pak has crossed those hurdles by planting a variety of sweet potato that has a longer shelf life and providing a consistent year-round supply from environmentally friendly storage facilities. In addition, the company has gotten all the certifications necessary to export their sweet potatoes to markets with some of the strictest requirements you can imagine.”

Farm Pak President Carson Barnes and Jose Calderon, international sales manager, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

Formed in 1969 as the sales and brokering arm of Barnes Farming, Farm Pak provides sweet potatoes for grocery, produce and foodservice outlets across the country and internationally.

Barnes Farming Corp. started in 1960 with less than one acre of sweet potatoes. Today, the company is the world’s largest grower, packer and shipper of sweet potatoes, with more than 5,000 acres in production.

NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Andrea Ashby, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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