Apr 9, 2010
12:00 AMOut of the Orchard
Foreign Travel, Washington Apple Commission
Greetings from the Washington Apple Commission!
The last four months have been fast and furious with travels to Canada, Mexico, China, Taiwan, Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and most recently Washington DC – and this is my personal travels excluding the 15 country whirlwind by Chris Scott and Rebecca Baerveldt. With eleven overseas representatives, the time spent in the international markets interacting with our representation is critical to building upon our successes and avoiding failures in promoting ‘The Best Apples on Earth’. So it’s definitely nice to have a short travel reprieve to share some insight with you.
This entire ‘Blog’ deal is like teaching an ‘old dog new tricks’ which I’m sure some of you can identify with me on. But our industry is fast paced with many issues behind the scenes that impact our growers profitability almost on a daily basis, so blogging may be the answer to get the word out. One of these issues is the recent change with the Mexico Anti-Dumping case – removal of the 47% duty on Red and Golden Delicious. I happened to be in Guadalajara one week after the removal was announced and had the pleasure of discussing this topic with importers, wholesalers and retailers in Mexico. So you think it’s over? ‘Think again’ was the message loud and clear. The Chihuahua growers in Mexico are very powerful politically and want to protect their industry from US apple imports, specially Washington State that shipped in-excess of 10 million cartons last season. The old duty system was antiquated and difficult to administer with middlemen reaping the benefit of controlled importation. A new system would most likely be simple and applicable to a larger cross section of varieties and all exporters. So don’t hold your breath and look for 12-18 months of reprieve before new protectionist ideals come back into play.
I appreciate the opportunity to be involved with the Goodfruit Growers blog and hope I can continue to keep you informed on the Washington Apple Commission.