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[ Georgia’s Global Impact ]



                                           Global Commodities



                                                 With Local Roots



                                                 eorgia’s going nuts for     to collecting and shelling and
                                                 international trade         storing nuts, to processing
                                          Gthese days. “We have              peanuts into peanut oil,
                                          seen a tremendous rise in          peanut flour and peanut meal.
                                          global demand for peanuts          The fibrous hull that is left
                                          over the last several years,”      after shelling is used in cattle
                                          says Grant Belden, Vice            feed, fertilizers and lawn care
                                          President, North American          products. Golden Peanut and
                                          Shelling for Golden Peanut and     Tree Nuts has met the highest
                                          Tree Nuts, a subsidiary of         standard of the Global Food
                                          Archer Daniels Midland             Safety Initiative with a BRC
                                          Company. “We have facilities       rating.
                                          in the United States, Argentina      “Georgia farmers have been
                                          and South Africa focusing on       key to Golden over the last 30
                                          supplying peanuts globally.        years and we look forward to
                                          The Argentina operation            continuing these partnerships
                                          predominately ships peanuts        in the future,” says President
                                          to Europe; in South Africa they    Greg Mills. “It’s not an easily
                                          are mainly sold in the local       harvested crop. Peanuts grow
                                          market. Our U.S. facilities        underground and have to be
                                          supply domestically and via        turned over to dry, and in the
                                          the export markets.”               fall there is a three-day drying
                                             Georgia is the nation’s top     period at maturity. So there is
                                          peanut producer, with about 70     an art to growing them right.
                                          counties producing nearly two      Today’s peanut farmer is a very
                                          billion pounds of peanuts on       talented, skilled scientist and
                                          720,000 acres in 2016. Some        artist and we have a lot of
                                          200 peanut-related businesses      respect for those men and
                                          dot the state and much of the      women.”
                                          state’s crop, plus related
                                          products, are exported.            Reinvesting in Local Markets
                                             Golden, based in Alpharetta,    Southeastern Gin & Peanut
                                          has facilities in Blakely,         Company, based in Surrency,
                                          Dawson, Ashburn; 57 buying         Georgia, also serves the global
                                          points/storage locations in        market, selling to more than
                                          Georgia; and plants in Texas       20 countries. “We started
                                          and Alabama. It’s an industry      pretty much from day one
                                          innovator that engages in the      shipping internationally,“ says
                                          entire cycle of peanut             Kent Fountain, managing
                                          production, from supporting        partner. “In fact, our first
                                          farmers with new technologies,     shipments were to China.”

                                                                [ By Ellen Berman ]

        GeorgiaGrown.com                                                                              [ 39 ]
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