Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black would like to recognize a new partnership in Georgia, combining Georgia peanuts with nutritional benefits in a new food product that will help malnourished children in countries around the world.
The American Blanching Company, based in Fitzgerald, Ga., has joined with the nonprofit organization Mother Administered Nutritive Aid (MANA) in their operations at a new production facility in Ben Hill County.
The new facility will be producing a fortified peanut product, Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), which is coupled with high-fat powdered milk to create a nutrient-rich product. RUTF has already been used successfully by UNICEF to help feed impoverished children in Africa.
A ribbon cutting for the new facility took place May 4 with more than 100 people in attendance from around the country, including Commissioner Black.
“I am excited to see new ways for Georgia peanuts to be used in helping improve the health of children around the world. Georgia is the number one producer of peanuts in the nation and our peanut farmers produce nearly half the country’s peanut crop each year,” Commissioner Black said. “We look forward to following the progress and success of this new partnership, and are eager to hear more about RUTF as it begins production here in Georgia.”
Additionally, the new production facility will bring 65 jobs to the state. MANA and American Blanching Company have jointly invested in the project and are considered future expansions of the facility, which would take on another new food product designated for disaster relief.
RUTF has already been provided to Rwanda and is endorsed by UNICEF as well as the World Health Organization, World Food Program and the United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition. With this production expansion here in Georgia, RUTF will soon be available in Guatemala and provided to organizations like Mercy Ships and the World Food Program.
To learn more about MANA and the May 4 ribbon cutting at the new facility in Ben Hill County, please visit http://mananutrition.org/grand-opening-and-ribbon-cutting; to learn more about the American Blanching Company, visit www.americanblanching.com. For more about Georgia peanuts, visit www.gapeanuts.com.