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Principals at both The Cranberry Network LLC and Habelman Bros. Co. have high hopes for this season's fresh cranberry crop in Wisconsin.

"Cranberries are still in their early stage of sizing, but indications are that with sustained warm temperatures, and barring any extreme weather events, we anticipate that Wisconsin's fresh cranberry season will meet our full expectations with respect to quality and quantity," Bob Wilson, managing member of The Cranberry Network, based in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, said in an Aug. 18 press release.

In 2008, The Cranberry Network LLC and Habelman Bros. Co., a leading cranberry grower, entered into a long-term contract whereby The Cranberry Network became the sole sales and marketing agent for Habelman Bros.

"TCN did a great job representing us for the 2008 fresh cranberry season," Ray Habelman III, a fourth-generation family member and current chief executive officer of Habelman Bros., added in the press release. "We are extremely happy with the overall outcome of the 2008 season. TCN has been a great partner and we look forward to many years of growth together. Our cranberries are sizing nicely and we anticipate excellent keeping quality this year with harvest scheduled to begin in late September."

The Habelman family entered the cranberry business in 1907. Today their holdings include three farms and two packinghouses located in the heart of the central Wisconsin cranberry growing region.

"We are excited to have had the opportunity to re-introduce our own logo to our customers, which will be available this year in both a 12-ounce and a three-pound multi-serve, consumer pack," Mr. Habelman added in the press release.

Mr. Wilson added, "2008 was a great beginning to our partnership with the Habelmans. Our goal from the outset was -- and will continue to be -- to ensure a sustainable supply of the freshest cranberries possible to customers throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. As we work with our own retail customers and a few select and respected distributors and brokers, we fully anticipate that the demand for fresh cranberries will grow. With our pack-to-order emphasis and focus on late-season supply to meet peak consumer demand, we are in excellent position to help facilitate growth in the fresh cranberry category."

The Cranberry Network is a team of experienced cranberry industry executives that offers a fresh approach to the marketing and sales of fresh cranberries with a supply chain solution designed to ensure freshness and sustainability of cranberry shelf life. It has the flexibility to offer private-label configurations along with providing a logistical solution to maximize freshness to the shelf.