It's a worldwide business
Tree fruit production is a global business, and that means publishing a tree fruit magazine is, too. Orchardists, no matter where they are located, are realizing that sharing of information can only help them prosper. And, as the article "The next new variety" explains in this issue, scientists also are collaborating internationally to speed up growers' access to new fruit varieties designed to make their businesses more profitable.
Though based in Washington State, one of the world's greatest tree fruit producing regions, the Good Fruit Grower has readers in 49 states and 41 other countries.
With a substantial number of readers overseas, Good Fruit Grower will be affected by significantly higher postal rates—beginning with this issue. Rate increases are not unusual: we anticipate and budget for a 3 percent annual increase to accommodate changes in printing and mailing expenses. What is striking this year is an unexpected domestic postage increase of between 10 and 12 percent and a foreign postage increase of up to 200 percent.
In the past, if we budgeted too little for projected expenses, we simply absorbed the difference and adjusted rates the following year. Unfortunately, we can't absorb this kind of increase without making immediate changes.
With the average annual cost of postage per foreign subscription expected to increase from $32.22 to $96.38, our readers outside the United States will be affected most. In an effort to reduce costs, we will switch to a mail broker, but we are concerned this may not assure reliable and quick delivery. Mail brokers collect our foreign mail at the printer, bundle it with other periodicals going to the same countries, and send the magazines in bulk to the respective countries, where they enter the foreign country's postal system. In theory, it gives similar service to using the U.S. mail system and is less expensive. However, we've gone this route before and were unhappy with the result. If we hear from you that delivery is spotty, we may have to return to the U.S. postal system and pay the inflated rates.
Effective immediately, the new rate for subscriptions outside the United States and Canada will increase from $55 to $100 with no multiple-year discounts. We truly regret this increase. We do offer an Internet-only subscription for $30 annually. With it, access to everything in the printed magazine is available on the cover date. Many readers currently use the Web-based Good Fruit Grower to research back issues with our search engine, but it can be utilized for general access as well.
Domestic rates are also expected to increase by approximately 12 percent; however, the exact increase has not yet been determined. We will honor the current annual rate of $35 for U.S. subscriptions until the new rates are confirmed. Canadian rates will remain at $55 as well, although group "block" rates will increase when those contracts come due.
Good Fruit Grower has always operated as a nonprofit educational resource for the tree fruit industry and, more recently, for the grape industry. We will consider other cost-saving measures to keep the publication affordable for all readers, but believe that even with the increased subscription rates, the publication remains one of the most economical and valuable resources available for serious tree fruit growers—no matter where in the world they grow their fruit.