More export focus needed
Washington faces competition in export markets, such as India.
Courtesy Washington Apple Commission
Because of an increasingly competitive U.S. market, the Washington apple industry will need to become more export oriented than in the past, says agricultural economist Dr. Desmond O'Rourke, And that is going to require more resources to promote apples overseas.
"It's totally unrealistic to expect that you can have a major increase in global demand without a major increase in global market promotion," he said, noting that Washington competes against other growing regions of the world. "There are huge rewards waiting in the overseas markets, but the Washington apple industry has to be more aggressive in pursuing them."
Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, agrees that the export markets show the most promise for Washington apple growers, but says a major increase in funding for export promotions looks highly unlikely. In fact, federal Market Assistance Funds for exports might be reduced or eliminated.
Look for in-depth articles on this topic in the February 15 issue of the Good Fruit Grower.