- Agronomic: peanuts
- Nuts: pecans
- Farm Business Management: market study
Missouri Northern Pecan Growers (MNPG) collects and markets Northern Native Pecans under the Missouri Northern Pecan brand name. MNPG is owned by five pecan producers located in Missouri and Kansas. In the fall of the year, MNPG purchases pecans from twenty-six growers located in Missouri, Kansas and Northern Oklahoma, for shelling and packaging. MNPG sells two types of pecans: Certified Organic and Pesticide-Free.
Most of MNPG’s growers have been providing pecans for several years. Pecan revenue is a supplemental income source for many of the farm families. 100% of the pecans are sourced from family farming operations, and the majority of these can be considered diversified operations.
Our producers harvest pecans from native pecan trees and are not considered “improved” through cultivation techniques. These native pecan tree stands grow naturally along watersheds and along the edge of fields. Other producers supplying MNPG have native pecan orchards that are planted using native seedlings.
Producers utilize sustainable production practices, either organic or pesticide-free. MNPG’s pesticide-free producers are not allowed to spray pesticides on the trees at any times. Organic producers must follow National Organic Program production protocols and are certified under a blanket certification with MNPG’s certifier, Indiana Certified Organic.
This project is a part of a long term vision of the Missouri Northern Pecan Growers. MNPG’s goal is to capture as much value from marketing highly differentiated pecans as possible. To do this, MNPG intends to develop a geographic indication for native northern pecans. Geographic indications have been shown in Europe to add significant value to a given production base, if fully developed across the value chain (Barham and Hinrichs, 2006). These indications help define the terroir, or soil, climate, and geographic conditions that make a product unique. Examples of GI’s include Parma Ham and Roquefort Cheese.
Developing a GI for Northern Pecans will do two things:
1. It will protect our company and individual producers’ intellectual property.
2. It will add significant value to our production base. As pecan growers, we are interested in capturing value not only over our own lifetime but over the lifetime of future generations.
This project is part of a multi-step process in developing a geographic indication. MNPG markets Northern Native Pecans. Funds were used to evaluate the pecans from our northern production base compared to cultivated southern pecans. This research will help us more clearly define the difference between “northern and southern” pecans, and more specifically define our geographical growing region.
Further, this study will provide genetic information for our pecan production region. This research may have long term implications for assessing the impact of climate change and other critical issues.