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Victor Wang, left, and Philander Fan with the 2014 Marketing Campaign of the Year Award. Melissa Hansen/Good Fruit Grower

Victor Wang, left, and Philander Fan with the 2014 Marketing Campaign of the Year Award. Melissa Hansen/Good Fruit Grower

The Asia Fruit international award for the best 2014 marketing campaign, won jointly by Northwest Cherry Growers and two Chinese companies, was presented to the Washington State Fruit Commission board of directors during its December meeting. Philander Fan and Victor Wang, Northwest Cherry Growers representatives in Hong Kong and China, brought the award to Washington State.

Sharing the award with Northwest Cherry Growers are Fruitday, an online produce retailer, and the large e-commerce giant TMall. The three entities are credited with pioneering online produce sales in China, said Fan. Since the first Northwest cherry sales, sold through TMall and Fruitday, began in 2013 (See “Cherry sales sizzle in China,” Good Fruit Grower, October 2013), others have followed. Fan worked with three major e-commerce companies in China last year and reported that Northwest cherry Internet sales increased more than 800 percent in 2014, when 140,000 boxes were sold.

“The new air cargo route from Seattle to Shanghai added last summer by China Eastern Airlines also helped with Internet cherry sales,” said Fan, who noted that some 50,000 boxes of Northwest cherries were sold through the airline’s website and other Internet platforms.

Announcement of the prestigious award was made during Asia Fruit Congress and Asia Fruit Logistica, an international convention and trade show held annually in September in Hong Kong.

The Northwest Cherry Growers is the promotional arm for cherry growers in five states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Montana) and is administered by the Washington State Fruit Commission.