Portland-based Oakhurst Dairy said Tuesday it was adding a label to its pint-sized apple juice containers stating “USA Grown Apples.”
“Oakhurst Dairy is proud to distinguish its apple juice from our competitors by sourcing 100 percent of the concentrate from farmers in the United States,” said Bill Bennett, Oakhurst president and CEO, in the release. “We encourage consumers to become more aware of what they are buying by reading the labels carefully.”
The company notes in the release that much consumer apple juice is sourced internationally, particularly from countries including Brazil, Argentina, Chile and China. And while the USDA pegs China as the world’s largest supplier of apple juice concentrate and the source for about two-thirds of the United States apple juice supply, the U.S. has “a robust apple growing industry,” Oakhurst wrote.
According to the company, the Western Region of the United States accounts for 65 percent of the nation’s apple crop and Eastern and Central apple-producing states account for 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
In 2000, Oakhurst Dairy was the first major dairy in the United States to reject the use of rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin) in the production of its milk and put the information on a label. That led to a lawsuit by Monsanto Corp., the biotech giant that was the sole producer of the artificial growth hormone used by some dairy farmers. Oakhurst and Monsanto settled the suit, leading to some minor changes in the label.