Harrell Nut Company: History of the Pecan Industry, Part 1: The Early Years

April 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

A leading name in the pecan industry, Harrell Nut Company serves commercial, retail, and non-profit clients across three brands. The Ole’ Henry’s Nuthouse brand offers retails sales, while Camilla Pecan provides products for fundraising efforts of all sizes. Meanwhile, the Harrell Nut Company parent brand serves commercial vendors nationwide.

Recognized as the only tree nut native to North America, the pecan has been traced to its roots in the Mississippi River Valley, with some Asian species having crossed the Bering Strait before the influx of humans. Peoples native to North America enjoyed the pecan as a convenient and nutritious food source.

Europeans discovered the appeal of the pecan soon after their arrival. Colonists began cultivating pecans in Mexico in the early 1700s, and settlers in the future United States followed suit around 1770. Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are both known to have cultivated their own pecan orchards. By the late 1700s and early 1800s, the export of pecans and the commercialization of the crop had begun.

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Harrell Nut Company: History of the Pecan Industry, Part 2: The 1800s

March 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

For 40 years, Harrell Nut Company has shelled and distributed high-quality nuts to customers across the country. The Georgia complex, located in the heart of one of the country’s top pecan producing regions, hosts corporate offices as well as cleaning, shelling, packaging, distribution, and retail facilities. Similarly, the company’s Texas center shells, stores, and distributes pecans grown in yet another top producing area. Both facilities maintain continuous Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification.

By the early 1800s, the pecan had become a commercial product. Colonists in the Americas had begun a steady export of pecans to the West Indies, while the southern United States harvested and sold both cultivated and wild nuts. The most popular varieties, those large in size and with thinner shells, were highly sought after.

These easily cracked nuts became more easily cultivated after South Carolina farmer Abner Landrum developed a way to graft desirable wild varieties to domestic trees. This discovery was publicized later in the century when a slave gardener by the name of Antoine successfully cultivated a grafted tree and showed the results at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Known as the “Centennial,” Antoine’s breed has become the ancestor of today’s most popular nut varieties. Meanwhile, nut production had begun in the state of Georgia.

Quality Control and Pecans From the Staff of Harrell Nut Company

January 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

By employing the best equipment in the industry, Harrell Nut Company serves its customers with optimum efficiency. The company maintains two shelling plant locations, providing more options for clients while lowering the cost of shipping. Its uncompromising approach to quality control leads the industry in such procedures as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). By maintaining relationships with numerous professional organizations, such as the National Pecan Shellers Association, the Southeastern Pecan Growers Association (SEPGA), and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), the company ensures consistency by remaining current on the latest industry standards and procedures. It has received certification according to the Safe Quality Food (SQF) 2000 Code and is certified Kosher. Food safety is an overriding concern, but product costs are kept low as well. This enables the company to pay growers a higher rate and charge customers a slightly lower rate.

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