Peanut producer honored

Sunland Peanuts Inc. of Portales was recognized as one of the top 100 privately-owned businesses in New Mexico last week at a luncheon in Albuquerque.

The New Mexico Private 100 luncheon held Thursday was sponsored by Albuquerque businesses and recognized privately-owned businesses which largely impact New Mexico economy and create a high number of jobs.

"We tend to lose sight of the fact that the smaller privately-owned businesses are the cornerstone, the baseline for employment in New Mexico," said Steven Keene, a regional partner with Moss Adams, a sponsor of the event, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

According to the Journal, the 100 businesses honored at the luncheon employ 11,000 people total. Sunland employs 125 of those 11,000 people.

The peanut company, which was founded in 1988, produces 6,000 pounds of peanut butter an hour on top of making other peanut products, such as roasted peanuts and peanut brittle.

The company contracts with 130 peanut farmers to make its products.

According to Sunland President Jimmie Shearer, now is a good time to be in the peanut butter business.

"Peanut butter is, in my opinion, getting close to being like milk in that just about every household has peanut butter in their pantry," he said. "It's pretty much to the point most everyone eats peanut butter."

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