Community shows support as Sunland faces suspension

Posted at: 11/29/2012 6:51 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Roosevelt County community members are standing in support of Sunland as it goes through a difficult time, faced with a suspension by the FDA.

“The people in Portales are very supportive of Sunland and working with them here at the Chamber we know the character of their business and we’re really pulling for them,” Portales/Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce Director Karl Terry said. “I feel like this has come out of left field that the FDA has come down on them, we want them to know that we’re behind them and supporting them and the community as a whole.”

Peanuts play a significant role in Roosevelt County, known for the special Valencia peanut.

“It’s a smaller peanut but usually it’s four peanuts per hole,” Terry said. “That’s one of the distinguishing parts, very bright, good for roasting, it has a much sweeter taste than other peanuts.”

Roosevelt County Community Development Corporation Director Doug Redmond said Sunland, overall, has a $60 million direct and indirect impact on the area, affecting about 10 percent of the area’s economy.

Redmond said he is optimistic about the future of the company and it’s role in the area, though he recognizes residents’ concerns.

“I think obviously a lot of people are concerned, they have families employed by Sunland, their business may be related to Sunland's business, so I think there’s a lot of concern,” Redmond said. “There’s a lot of concern that the FDA has been a little heavy handed, in their application of the new rule for certification. But this is a very big deal to the community and certainly, we're going to stand behind Sunland and I think we'll get through it and just know that our community's gonna get through it and be on the other side and we'll be okay.”