International Year of the Pulses
The U.S. is a world leader in pulse production, growing more than 3.4 million acres of pulse crops annually, which yield more than 2.4 million metric tons of dry peas, lentils, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and bean varieties (e.g., black, kidney, pinto). Currently 65 percent of U.S. pulse crops are exported. Chairman of the Western Pulse Grower Association Jon Olson says
Olson: "The International Year of the Pulse I think is a great opportunity for pulse growers because the buzz is out there from a lot of different industries and organizations. This is a good marketing opportunity for us to step on the the bandwagon with them and use it to our advantage. I'm very hopeful that the year of the Pulse will help the pulse industry by raising market demand for it and getting the name out there a little bit more. People can understand that this is a crop that we raise and that it is a very healthy and nutritious crop."
To educate consumers about pulses during the IYP, American pulse growers and industry members, in partnership with their Canadian counterparts, are pooling resources in a joint, multi-channel marketing effort. One goal of the campaign is to increase North American consumption of these healthy and sustainable foods.