Governor Mark Sanford has proclaimed July as South Carolina Peach Month to show continued support of the state’s peach industry.

Even though this is an unusual year for the state’s peach growers due to a late Easter freeze, Governor Sanford wants consumers to be aware there will be tastier South Carolina peaches available in supermarkets, roadside markets, farmers markets, and almost anywhere peaches are sold.

Peach production is a segment of South Carolina’s second largest industry after tourism — agriculture. Alone, the South Carolina peach industry is valued at more than $40 million a year with a $100 million a year economic impact.

Following the freeze, growers reported that they would be fortunate to have 10 percent of a crop. However, there will be plenty to supply the South Carolina market. Be sure to look for Certified South Carolina peaches wherever produce is sold. Consumers will be helping growers manage this complex peach season while enjoying a nutritious sweet treat.

The South Carolina Peach Council is an association of local growers, packers, and retailers who are dedicated to advance and protect the production and marketing of peaches in South Carolina.

Using a network of valued relationships, the SCPC seeks to educate families across the nation about why South Carolina is “The Tastier Peach State.” The Palmetto State’s slightly acidic soils, hot days, and humid nights enable our growers to offer consumers peaches ripened by Mother Nature and packed with nutrients and flavor.

Through joint collaboration between the SCPC and local retailers, fundraising efforts support research and promotion initiatives for South Carolina peaches.

Research efforts through major Southeastern universities keep producers on the cutting edge of production technology to bring consumers the highest quality, best tasting peach in the marketplace. Investments in these technologies ensure that consumers will benefit from increased quality and food safety standards.

Promotional efforts invite consumers to taste the difference for themselves and to enjoy the higher quality fruit all summer long.

For more information about the South Carolina Peach Council or recipes, please visit www.scpeach.com or email Julie Huffman at jhuffman@scda.sc.gov.