The Texas Peanut Producers Board (TPPB) and American Peanut Council (APC) hosted 50 peanut manufacturers, that represented 22 companies from Mexico, in Lubbock, TX. The tour gave manufacturers an opportunity to learn what makes Texas peanuts stand out among competitors and to help strengthen international markets.
Shelly Nutt, TPPB Executive Director said, “We’re growing our exporting market on relationship at a time.” Nutt said this tour helps address concerns and reassure the attendants that Texas producers want to keep relationships close and continue working together.
The tour began at Las Brisas Steakhouse with custom peanut appetizers developed by chef Matt Lopez. This was a way for the Mexican manufacturers to mingle and enjoy a nice, Texas-sized meal. The atmosphere provided a great introduction into asking questions and learning about the Texas market in a casual setting.
The next morning, it was off to the fields. West Texas peanut farmer Mason Becker and his father Monty Henson took the attendants around their Virginia peanut fields during digging to see harvest in action. After a Q&A session, the tour moved on to visit an organic variety of peanuts that was nearby. The attendees also learned how it can sometimes be a risk driving on West Texas dirt roads when the tour had a small schedule change after the tour bus got stuck. With great team work, a good laugh, and a little “West Texas engineering” developed by Mr.Henson, the bus was ready to take the tour to the next stop.
The next stop was to Golden Peanut & Treenut Company for a tour of the shelling facility in Seagraves, TX. There, the participants were able to see what happens to the peanut after harvest before the would receive them at their facilities to process them. Golden provided a catered barbecue lunch at the local community center for the tour. After a quick bite, it was time for the last stop on the tour.
Following the shelling facility, the participants went to see a buying point where they were able to see and understand a common middle step for the farmers and the shellers. Overall, it was a busy tour day for the manufacturers learning about the Texas peanut process. A casual dinner with tapas and tequila was a great way to end a busy day of touring.
The next day, the participants had a classroom session where several guest speakers presented information about the Texas market and opportunities in growing relationships. Jason Woodward gave a crop update, Samantha Lahey from Breedlove gave updates about their products, Ali McDaniels from Golden Peanut presented nutritional information and GRUPO PM gave a report on the Mexican peanut market. After the presentation, a Q&A session started up. Questions were asked, concerns were addressed and overall, the tour gave the companies a new insight on the Texas peanut industry and why their partnership matters to TPPB.
The participants were able to do an optional tour of local grocery stores and markets before heading to a steak dinner and departing the next morning with a new understanding of the Texas market.
The Mexican manufacturers was hosted by TPPB and APC and none of it would have been possible without the participants having the desire to learn about Texas peanuts. TPPB would like to thank all of the attendees on the 2017 tour and American Peanut Council for helping make connections with the international markets. (Photos: Lindsay Hamer)