Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Mississippi berries burst into Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart shoppers in Mississippi won't have to ask where the blueberries come from this year. For the first time, the blueberries on sale at as many as 142 Wal-Mart Supercenters across the South are coming exclusively from Mississippi growers. And a lot of those berries are coming from South Mississippi farms.

The stickers on each blueberry basket in Wal-Mart's produce section proudly proclaims, "Make Mine Mississippi," the slogan of the state agriculture department.

State Agriculture Commissioner Lester Spell kicked off Wal-Mart's two-week promotion of the arrangement in Madison on Monday. The crop has a statewide economic impact of $20 million, Spell said.

Blueberries can reach 90 degrees under the southern sun. They must be cooled quickly at a processing plant before hitting store shelves.

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