After record-setting heat in 2015, cherry growers look to new year.
Another Northwest cherry season is around the corner, and at this point, there is no reason not to expect another 20 million box crop of amazing sweet cherries!
Our cherry growing cohorts in California are reporting the best chilling hours and
The U.S. Apple Association has released a new, mobile-friendly website at usapple.org.
The website continues to address the organization’s position on key topics, ranging from food safety to agricultural labor reform, while increasing the appeal to consumers and the ease of use for USApple members, says Wendy Brannen, USApple’s Director of
The federal government has approved a new wine grape appellation in the Northwest: the Lewis-Clark Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA).
The appellation, which sits in a geographic region of northwestern Idaho known as the “banana belt,” encompasses some 479 square miles, with about 72 percent of the land in Idaho and
The California Specialty Crops Council will hold its 2016 MRL Harmonization Workshop June 1-2 in San Francisco.
The interactive seminar based on maximum residue levels (MRLs) will address critically important issues for stakeholders with interests in exporting agricultural products. Registrants, growers, packers, shippers, PCAs, regulators, trade experts, and other stakeholders in
The American Heart Association has certified Green and Red Anjou pears from USA Pears as heart-healthy.
The certification allows Pear Bureau Northwest to use the heart-check mark throughout online, print and other promotional activities for both varieties of pears.
“It is gratifying to see sweet, juicy Anjou pears recognized by the American
Fruit growers need look no further than the beverage aisle at their local convenience store for inspiration.
That’s according to Jeff Cleveringa, one of the speakers today (Wednesday) at the International Fruit Tree Association conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Consumers will not tire of new fruit varieties anytime soon, said Cleveringa of
Washington State University’s WA 2 apple will be marketed as Sunrise Magic, the university announced today.
This a re-launch of the apple, this time in partnership with Proprietary Variety Management. The goal is to give
a more effective push to the variety, using consumer research and other techniques. The variety is a cross
Pear Bureau Northwest has launched a redesigned trade website focused on the business of pears to grow pear sales.
Visitors to www.trade.usapears.org will find information about pear varieties and availability, marketing trends and research, and promotion and merchandising materials.
The site is also home to the new USA Pears University, which offers
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — Tree fruit growers from all over the world have converged on Grand here for the International Fruit Tree Conference.
A total of 291 people attended the first activity Saturday, a day-long pre-conference intensive workshop called “Growing the Moneymakers: Fuji, Gala and Honeycrisp.”
Growers, nursery managers and marketers stressed
It’s a new era for viticulture and enology research in Washington.
Washington’s wine industry has started the process of building a world-class research program.
The industry has invested in a new wine science facility, developed a strategic plan and recently hired me, the Washington Wine Commission’s first-ever research program manager.
The state’s growers
The 73rd annual Cherry Institute begins January 15 at the Yakima Convention Center with an update on the Cherry Breeding Program at Washington State University by Dena Ybarra of Perleberg Orchards.
Other presentations that day include: Observations on the Newest Cherry Breeding Materials by Dr. Ines Hanrahan of the Washington Tree
More than 80 wine regulators and wine industry representatives from 17 Pacific Rim economies met in Adelaide, Australia, to work toward streamlining import-export requirements for wine.
The two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Wine Regulatory Forum’s 2015 technical meeting focused on eliminating duplicative regulations to reduce the costs of cross-border wine trade,
Nominations for grower and handler positions on the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee will take place during industry meetings in January. The committee establishes grade, size, and pack regulations for fresh sweet cherries from designated counties in Washington.
Nominations for District 2 will take place during the Cherry Institute meeting at the
The New York Times gives a detailed account of competition among new varieties to dominate the $3 billion apple industry.
Readers of Good Fruit Grower are familiar with emerging varieties, such as Cosmic Crisp, that seek to dominate the next generation of apples but it’s interesting to see how the New
Pear Bureau Northwest, the non-profit marketing organization that represents the 1,600 pear growers of Oregon and Washington (home to 84 percent of the U.S. fresh pear crop), announced that that Lynsey Kennedy, the organization’s international marketing manager, has been recognized as one of the produce industry’s top young leaders.
Leading e-commerce retailer Alibaba Group featured Washington apples at the kickoff for its online shopping frenzy in China in November.
Washington apples were the only imported fresh fruit showcased to kickoff Alibaba’s T-Mall 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, which is held on the November 11 Black Friday-like shopping event known as “Singles
It’s been a decade since the Washington Apple Commission ended its domestic promotion program, after working for more than 60 years to establish Washington apples as “the world’s finest.”
Even without the promotions, apple growers enjoyed a run of profitable years, until the dismal 2014–2015 marketing season.
Last fall, Washington growers harvested
The Honeycrisp apple is a Cinderella story. A somewhat homely apple, almost rejected from its own breeding program, is given a chance and is discovered by an adoring public and propelled on a rise to a height of success still not fully realized.
The rags-to-riches story verifies the clichés: Beauty is
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will soon introduce a rule exempting organic growers from paying mandatory promotion assessments to federal marketing orders.
This will mean, for example, that organic pears will no longer be subject to an assessment of 38.5 cents a box to fund promotions by the Pear Bureau Northwest.
In the two years since Tim Ramsey’s hiring as president and chief executive, Oregon Cherry Growers has developed several new value-added products, returned profits to grower-members, and expanded growth in dried and frozen products.
Ramsey, with more than 30 years in the food and beverage industry, learned about produce and value-added
For many years, Montana sweet cherries were marketed as the tail end of the Washington State crop, not having much of an identity of their own. But more recently, growers in Montana have worked to project a better image of what they think are better cherries and to get a better price for them.
Okanagan Specialty Fruits plans to submit more GMO apple varieties for deregulation within the year.
A few years ago, Todd Fryhover of the Washington State Apple Commission was invited to speak at the Premier Apple Co-Op meeting in New York to talk about “China.”
As I introduced him to the group of apple growers and marketers from basically the entire eastern apple growing states including Michigan,
● USDA announced last Friday its deregulation of a Canadian firm’s–Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc.–two varieties (Granny Smith and Golden) of GMO apples, one day in advance of a three-day weekend. This is not unusual timing for controversial announcements by federal agencies. It almost guarantees a muted response in the media.
The 2014 season was not only a record year for Northwest cherries, it was one of the best years for Northwest cherry exports, especially to South Korea, which almost doubled imports from 2012.
“Last year was one of our biggest export years ever,” said Keith Hu, foreign marketing director for Northwest
Though China’s lack of cold-chain facilities and logistics for perishable products has been its Achilles heel, improvements are expected within the next five years, says Keith Hu, Northwest Cherry Growers representative.
China is recognized as one of the hottest markets in the world due to its large population and potential for
Steve Tennes, who operates the Country Mill orchard and farm market at Charlotte, Michigan, became convinced several years ago that there was a future in organic fruit production. Today, some of his customers will come a hundred miles or more from Detroit and Chicago specially to buy his organic apples.
The nation’s tree fruit organizations fared well in 2015 funding allocations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program. Ten organizations representing tree fruit will receive more than $16 million of the $173 million allocated to help expand export markets.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the MAP funding allocations for
A new organization called Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited has been formed to replace Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and undertake research and development and marketing efforts to support Australia’s $9.5 billion horticulture industry.
The move follows a recent independent report into the performance of HAL that recommended a change to a new
A new organization called Prosser Wine Network was formed in Washington State last spring to promote Prosser wines. The new group, with more than 30 initial winery and associate members, is working to create awareness of wines from Prosser by providing networking events, advocating on behalf of members, coordinating media
With a record crop of Washington apples, estimated at 140 million boxes or more, Todd Fryhover is hoping to see a significant boost in exports this season.
Last year, when the industry produced 118 million boxes, 37 million went to export markets.
Fryhover, who is president of the Washington Apple Commission, says
Northwest Cherry Growers and two Chinese online retailers, Fruitday and Tmall, have received Asia Fruit Logistica’s Marketing Campaign of the Year Award for their joint promotion of Northwest cherries last season.
Consumers ordered cherries via Tmall’s online platform and received them within 48 to 72 hours. Around 200 tons of cherries
Two long-established tree fruit organizations closed their doors on August 29 as they merged into the new Washington State Tree Fruit Association.
Neither the Washington Growers Clearing House Association nor the Wenatchee Valley Traffic Association will have staff working with the new association.
The staff at the other two organizations, Yakima Valley
The Michigan Processing Apple Growers marketing committee has negotiated minimum apple prices with six apple processors.
The prices are $12.50 a hundredweight for hard varieties 2 ½ inches and up, and $10 for soft varieties of that size. No price was negotiated for juice or undersize apples.
Six processors are in agreement
Nearly 80 years after its inception, the California Grape and Tree Fruit League announced they are changing their name to the California Fresh Fruit Association to better reflect the growing diversity of fruit its members grow.
The new name was proposed as part of a five-year planning mission to better align
Washington State orchardists expect to harvest 140 million boxes of apples this fall, almost 10 percent more than ever before and 20 percent more than last season.
But the record crop did not take the industry by surprise, says Dan Kelly, assistant manager at the Washington Growers Clearing House Association. Packers
The Yakima Herald-Republic’s Ross Courtney visited Sea-Tac airport to watch cherries from the Yakima and Wenatchee areas get loaded for fast delivery aboard a China Eastern Airlines 777 cargo plane.
Cherries sure mean a lot of work at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, just like they do in the Yakima Valley.
June saw some huge shipments of cherries, averaging 332,000 boxes per day, according to the Northwest Cherry Growers.
What was expected to be the second biggest cherry crop ever has triggered enormous movement to the marketplace. June’s total came in at 10.3 million boxes.
Domestic retailers have stepped up promotions through in-store
Northwest cherry growers gained airlift capacity into China with the launch today of weekly service between Seattle and Shanghai on China Eastern Airlines. The new service serving Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will carry more than 400 metric tons of cherries to China from Northwest shippers.
In addition, China Eastern runs an e-commerce
Tart cherry producers and processors voted in March to continue the federal marketing order that regulates the marketing of their crop.
The results, just announced, were very favorable to the order, both in the positive votes and the high participation of both growers and processors.
A total of 293 producers and 33
Washington State University will hold a random drawing to decide who will be able to plant WA 38, the latest variety from the university’s apple breeding program, during the first two years trees become available.
Washington nurseries are producing trees of WA 38 and a small number will be available for
E.W. Brandt and Sons, a fruit growing, packing, and marketing operation in Wapato, Washington, is expanding its operations and is using RemBrandt Masterpiece fruit as its brand.
The moves reflect the company’s intensified focus on growing and packing after divesting its nursery division last year. Brandt’s Fruit Trees, formerly a division
Washington’s fresh cherry packers will continue to be allowed to ship 12-row red cherries, members of the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee decided at their meeting in early December.
The committee commissioned economist Dr. Desmond O’Rourke to study the financial impact on the industry of shipping 12-row cherries, the smallest size packed.
Four Washington tree fruit industry organizations will consolidate next summer, and the question now is how best to do it, Robert Kershaw told members of the Washington State Horticultural Association at their annual meeting.
“People keep asking me what are the odds of this coming together,” he said. “It’s a hundred
Steve Chinchiolo of River Bend Orchards in Ripon, California, has sold fruit through farmers’ markets since the late 1980s. While the direct marketing represents only a small portion of his total crop sales, the markets connect him with consumers and marketing trends.
Today, they sell both organic and conventional fruit weekly
Early Pink Lady
An early maturing selection of Pink Lady (cultivar Cripps Pink) is available from Brandt’s Fruit Trees in Yakima, Washington.
The selection matures up to three weeks earlier than the standard Pink Lady. Another distinction is that while standard Cripps Pink sometimes needs to be stored for a time to
Third-generation wine grape grower Randy Tucker has made wine in Washington’s Yakima Valley for 30 years. Through the decades, he’s changed business plans at Tucker Cellars to fine-tune the winery’s market niche, but he’s now facing one of the biggest changes as he approaches retirement.
Randy’s grandparents Melvin and Vera Tucker
If you’re a person who doesn’t like tattoos and body piercings, looks suspiciously at people with dark skin, doesn’t like to hear people speaking languages other than English, and hates people who text message while in conversation with you, you’re in for a troubled future.
“Get over it.”
That’s the advice of
The 2012 U.S. apple crop holds some lessons for apple marketers, lessons that are not “intuitive.” For example, consumers will buy apples even at high prices.
Steve Lutz, executive vice president of the Nielsen Perishables Group, is an analyst who tries to understand people from what they do while shopping in
We understand your risks and challenges. Mast said marketers understand the huge risks that growers take when planting orchards. Increasing production costs and retailers’ food safety requirements are just adding to the challenges.
“We want to make sure that small family farmers stay in existence,” he said. “If there are too
Many growers whose orchards are in or near urbanized or suburbanized landscapes grab the opportunity to sell their fruit directly to consumers. They do so either from markets they operate at the farm or at the growing number of farmers’ markets that dot cities and small towns.
In the northeastern United
Randi Harnden will join the Washington Apple Commission as export coordinator starting October 7.
Her appointment is part of a staff realignment following the departure two months ago of Chris Scott, the commission’s export trade specialist. Danelle Trovato, export assistant, was promoted to his position, and Harnden takes Trovato’s place.
Pears are a relatively small item in the fresh produce department, but they are still important to retailers. Pears make up 1.2 percent of fresh produce sales, compared with berries at 9.7 percent, apples at 8.5 percent, and grapes at 7.5 percent.
But that’s accounting for 1.2 percent of fresh produce
Although most pears are grown in traditional orchards, the same way they’ve been grown for many decades, there’s not a great momentum for change. Ray Schmitten, a pear grower in Cashmere, Washington, says that innovation in the orchard is less critical than finding ways to ensure that consumers have a
At field days across Michigan this summer, fruit industry leaders bearing clipboards have been seeking grower signatures asking for creation of a Michigan Tree Fruit Commission.
The idea came up in June and has been on a fast track since.
Phil Korson, executive director of the Cherry Marketing Institute, said the goal
The Northwest Cider Association is planning its third annual Washington Cider Week, a ten-day celebration of craft hard cider beginning September 5 in Seattle.
Fourteen Washington cideries will participate in the event, which features more than 75 activities or special menu items at Seattle area restaurants. The publication Edible Seattle is
Washington State apple producers expect to harvest 120 million packed boxes of apples this fall, according to the industry’s August forecast, the first official tally of the season.
That’s a drop of 9 million boxes from last year. However, Michigan and New York production has rebounded from 2012 when cold spring
Proprietary Variety Management, a new company helping to commercialize two new red-fleshed apple varieties developed by Bill Howell of Prosser, Washington, is using a different strategy from how varieties have been introduced in the past.
The company’s general manager John Reeves said the value chain starts with the breeder, goes through
Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, says the industry needs to increase demand.
The Washington Apple Commission is strengthening its export program in anticipation of larger volumes of apples coming onto the U.S. market in the next few years and wants shippers to support its efforts by using
China could become a significant market for U.S. pears. Louis Ng, who represents the Pear Bureau Northwest in China, believes China could be importing 500,000 to 600,000 boxes of pears annually within the next five to ten years. That would make China the second-largest pear export market after Mexico.
The Bing cherry, long the king of the Northwest industry, is losing ground to the newer Canadian varieties.
In the 2000 season, Bing represented almost 75 percent of the Northwest cherry crop. By 2012, cherries sold as Bing represented only 22 percent of the crop. Meanwhile, varieties from British Columbia now
Courtesy of Wescott Agri Products
Two new apple varieties, Pazazz and RiverBelle, are growing in some apple orchards and coming to market through a new development process.
The apples are being commercialized by Apple Varietal Development LLC, a company organized by Fred Wescott, owner of Wescott Orchards and Agri Products in Elgin,
Orondo Ruby is a yellow-fleshed cherry that has more blush and matures earlier than Rainier.
PHOTO COURTESY OF G&C ORCHARDS
Cherry production in north central Washington State is growing at such a pace that Chelan Fruit Cooperative is planning to build a new cherry line for next season.
Reggie Collins, chief executive officer,
A lack of funding has forced the Food Alliance to suspend its operations, though its licensed producers will be able to use the eco-label through the end of the year.
The Food Alliance, based in Portland, Oregon, established its sustainable food certification program in 1997 with the goal of helping growers
The short fruit crop in the eastern United States last year had a dramatic impact on research and promotion programs organized under state and federal market orders. These programs are funded by checkoffs collected on a per-pound basis, so income plummeted with the reduced crop size.
In Michigan, where the Michigan
The commercialization plan for WA 38 will be different than for its first release, WA 2.
Washington State University is finalizing a plan for how its second apple variety, WA 38, will be commercialized.
The university will send out an “announcement of opportunity” (similar to a request for proposals) inviting applications for
Bob Meyer, an apple grower in Toppenish, Washington, is one of the first in the state to produce Washington State University’s first apple release, WA 2. Meyer, who already grows Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious, wanted to get to market early with a new variety. “I
In the worldwide winemaking community, Washington State’s wine industry is the 187-year-old new kid on the block.
Although our state’s first wine grapes were planted in 1825, we’re still considered a teenager in the global marketplace. Our superior wines consistently outperform other top wine-producing regions throughout the globe, yet many
The Organic Trade Association is holding town-hall forums across the country to gather industry thoughts about the association’s proposal to establish a federal organic research and promotion order.
One such forum will be held during the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting in Yakima at the end of the afternoon organics
The blueberry industry has had a growth curve that growers would love to see for any fruit.
From a relatively minor industry producing about 100 million pounds of fruit annually a generation ago, production reached 887 million pounds in 2010, according to John Shelford, a long-time blueberry industry observer, analyst, and
Courtesy of Rich MacDonald (AAFC)
A new apple variety from British Columbia, Canada, called Salish was launched in the marketplace this fall under a new brand called “Born in BC, Raised in the Okanagan.”
Salish (formerly known as SPA493) originated from a cross of Splendour and Gala made in 1981 at Agriculture
The Pear Bureau Northwest has promoted Bob Koehler to lead regional marketing manager. In this new position, he will serve as the liaison between Kevin Moffitt, Pear Bureau president, and the regional managers in territories throughout the United States and Canada. He will lead the development of fresh pear marketing
A new apple will debut in September (weather permitting), one that the breeder and marketer hope will become a signature apple of the upper Mississippi River Valley growing region.
The marketer is Fred Wescott, Elgin, Minnesota, owner of Wescott Orchards and Wescott Agri-Products, who packs and distributes apples to retailers in
A new marketing and research group has consolidated the California cherry industry into one voice, says Chiles Wilson, chair of the new organization that became effective in early April.
The California Cherry Marketing and Research Program supersedes the California Cherry Advisory Board, which had represented growers of Bing, Rainier, Van, and
Greg Powers knows viticulture and enology from the ground up and was manager for the family estate vineyard before taking on winemaker duties.
Greg Powers, winemaker for Washington State’s largest organic winery, didn’t initially make organic wines for Badger Mountain Vineyard winery, even though the grapes were from his family’s
New, healthy products include dried cherries and tart cherry juice.
If you hear the words, “tart cherries,” and a nice oozy red, lattice-topped cherry pie springs to your mind, you’re going to really disappoint some people. The tart cherry industry has spent five years, and nearly $2 million a year, trying
WSU engineers are developing a vibrating actuator that will be used with a mechanical harvester to shake limbs and remove fruit without damaging the trees.
A four-year research project that aims to make sweet cherry production more efficient, profitable, and sustainable marked the halfway point with an informational meeting and tour
While Harold Copple managed the Apple Commision between 1947 and 1957, most of the apples produced in Washington were Winesap. During that period, the commission hired a larger, year-round merchandising staff of up to 12 people to work with retailers across the country.
Formation of a Washington apple promotion program 75
Of all the attributes consumers are looking for today in their food—freshness, organic, local, and sustainable—flavor and quality are still paramount. Growers, shippers, and marketers involved in delivering fruits to consumers should focus on flavor and quality before they do anything else, suggests a consumer culture consultant.
“Despite the economic concerns
Kirpal Boparai, president of the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association, says his priority is to get money into growers’ pockets.
British Columbia, Canada, apple growers took an initial step towards establishing a national apple and promotion agency, and potential future regulated marketing, at the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association’s annual convention in
Michigan tart cherry growers will cast mail-in ballots between March 12 and March 25 to determine whether the Michigan Cherry Committee, which is organized under Michigan law to operate a checkoff program and conduct research and promotion, will continue to operate for another five years.
The Michigan Cherry Committee is supported
Last year, Three Springs Fruit Farm, operated by Dave, John, and Ben Wenk in Aspers, Pennsylvania, was certified by Food Alliance. An Oregon-based organization, Food Alliance provides third-party certification that sustainable agricultural and food handling practices are used in a farm’s operation. Since
Despite a bleak economic picture for many Americans, it’s a good time for Washington State wines. Grocery story data collected both nationally and within the state show consistent growth in the wine category for the last two years, according to marketing and category management specialists.
Since 2008, the United States has
Dissolution of the California Tree Fruit Agreement created opportunity for Washington State stone fruit, says Ingrid Mohn, FAS market development specialist. About $250,000 was redirected to a new market access program for Washington’s stone fruit.
With federal budget cuts looming, the future is murky for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s market
Washington State sweet cherry growers voted to continue the federal marketing order that regulates sweet cherries. During the referendum held in November, 92 percent of eligible growers who voted, representing 82 percent of the participating volume, favored continuing the marketing order that was established in 1957. A referendum is required
In spite of the 70 breeding programs around the world developing new tree fruit cultivars, most new varieties are disappointments and don’t succeed, says a European researcher. Growers, packers, and marketers have responded well to improved clones of established varieties like Gala and Golden Delicious apples, but the industry has
As the Washington State apple crop shifts in terms of varieties and volumes, the Washington Apple Commission must match its export efforts to what is happening in the industry, says Todd Fryhover, commission president.
The big upsurge in Honeycrisp, which is selling at high prices on the domestic market, will likely
Nominations for board positions with several Pacific Northwest fruit industry groups will be held during upcoming horticultural meetings.
Cherry Marketing Committee
Nominations for three grower positions in District 1 will be held during the North Central Washington Stone Fruit Day at the Wenatchee Convention Center on January 19. Current members are: Dave
Comice is the perfect pear for gift boxes, but the gift business has declined.
Courtesy Pear Bureau Northwest
Comice is sometimes referred to as the Queen of Pears, because of its superlative eating quality. “It probably has the best flavor of the whole gamut of pears,” is the assessment of Ron Meyer,
During the Pear Bureau Northwest’s annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, last summer, its regional managers proposed ideas on how to strengthen demand for Comice pears.
Tim Corkill, regional manager for the West and Southwest, suggested that the variety needs to be reintroduced to the market with small, one-layer packages, similar to
Crunch Pak counts apple slices like McDonald’s counts hamburgers—and the count is nearing 7 billion slices sold since the company created the industry 11 years ago. It bills itself as the original and leading supplier of fresh sliced apples in the world.
Tony Freytag, a company founder and national marketing director,
The status of the long-awaited futures trading contract in apple-juice concentrate hasn’t changed. It’s still coming “soon.”
“We are extremely close to being there,” said Rita Maloney, with Minnesota Grain Exchange, which is the principal futures and options market for hard red spring wheat and is developing the apple juice concentrate
Most fresh pears nowadays are still grown on old trees in long-established orchards.
But if, through research, the Pacific Northwest pear industry were able to start growing pears more efficiently in intensive orchards with trees on dwarfing rootstocks, would there be a market for all the additional fruit?
“We’re limited now to
If you’re looking for answers to perplexing questions—like what’s the future of Social Security, will China dominate the world, or how many apples can we grow and sell in the future—the first approach is do the math.
The answers, interestingly, are that Social Security will get financial support from a huge
British pear growers have been removing pear orchards at an alarming rate because they’ve not been profitable. Now, the East Malling Research Center in the United Kingdom is trying to demonstrate the feasibility of growing pears using modern systems.
It’s been reported that U.K. pear acreage dropped by 40 percent between
James Martin spent two years converting the ground flour of the old flour mill into a tasting room and production facility for Copa Di Vino wines. The milling machinery was left in place.
James Martin hopes to enhance the reputation of single-serving wine containers with his upscale product called Copa Di
The ripening inhibitor SmartFresh (MCP) holds promise for maintaining pear quality over a longer period of time and reducing disorders such as scald, but the pear industry reports that some treated pears won’t ripen.
Dr. Eugene Kupferman, retired Washington State University postharvest specialist, said Bartlett pears, which are harvested in August
Many growers have children in school and have been frustrated that their taxes have been paying for apples from competitors for school lunch programs.
The “buy local” movement got a shot in the arm this spring when the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented a new rule allowing some buyers—especially schools—to specify
WA 2, the first release of Washington State University’s apple breeding program, is a blushed, orange-red apple.
The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission is in the process of setting up a nonprofit organization to manage Washington State University’s new tree fruit varieties.
Once the 501(c)(3) organization is set up, the Research
The name SweeTango captures the apple’s sweet, tangy taste.
COURTESY SALLY & WILFRID MENNELL
Honeycrisp has set the standard for new varieties to follow in terms of consumer acceptance and the returns that growers expect, apple marketers say.
t’s also one of the few varieties that producers can freely plant and sell, and
Washington State University is taking steps to protect its new apple variety, WA 2, in overseas countries. WA 2, the first variety to emanate from its apple breeding program, is moving into the commercialization phase and is available to Washington growers only.
Dr. Kate Evans, WSU’s pome fruit breeder, said plant
Wescott Agri Products
Right from the get-go, Fred Wescott thought Honeycrisp would be a new force in the apple market. And he bet on it. He planted orchards in Minnesota and northern Washington. And, now, his company is bringing Honeycrisp into the United States from partners in Chile, starting its transformation
For more than a century, the freestone peach market in the eastern United States was dominated by two varieties. First was Elberta, a peach from Georgia that dominated production from 1880 to about 1950. Then, along came Michigan’s Redhaven, which became the world’s most-planted peach for the rest of the
Fruit growers in the northeastern quadrant of the country are witnessing the ongoing clamor for sweet cherries, from consumers wanting them bigger, darker, sweeter, for longer—and, if possible, locally grown. These growers want to play a bigger part in supplying them.
Michigan growers produce a fifth of the nation’s sweet cherries,
The name Ambrosia reflects the aromatic flavor of the apple.
Courtesy Sally & Wilfrid Mennell
Honeycrisp has set the standard for new varieties to follow in terms of consumer acceptance and the returns that growers expect, apple marketers say.
It’s also one of the few varieties that producers can freely plant and sell,
Six MBA students say a single-strength tart cherry juice produced and marketed by a grower cooperative could be a marketplace winner.
What the tart cherry industry needs is a cooperative of growers that focuses on growing and marketing one outstanding product, like natural, healthful cherry juice.
If that recipe sounds familiar, it
The tart cherry industry is in year four of an advertising and promotion campaign developed by the Chicago advertising agency Weber Shandwick and its team led by Jeff Manning, who is credited with creation of the Got Milk? campaign for the dairy industry.
Weber Shandwick vice president Michael Wheman came to
The salvation to lagging wine sales of Syrah may be in Washington State owning the variety as it now does Riesling, says Bob Betz, who describes himself as an “unapologetic, unabashed supporter and lover of Syrah.”
Betz, of Betz Family Winery in Woodinville, first tasted Syrah in France’s Côte Rotie region
Natalie, 16, greets customers and weighs the cherries they pick, using an old brass-beamed platform scale. Picking buckets hold about 15 pounds of cherries, and most U-pick customers will fill one or two.
Photo by richard lehnert
For several decades, Klenk Orchards has been an island of sweet cherries in a sea
Syrah was to be one of the stars in Washington State’s wine lineup. But something happened along the way to greatness, and wineries have watched Syrah wine sales drop and inventories build. In the short term, creativity in blending and marketing may be needed to reduce backlogged inventories, while Washington’s
Because of an increasingly competitive U.S. market, the salvation of the Washington apple industry will be overseas markets, and the industry will need to become more export oriented than in the past, says agricultural economist Dr. Desmond O’Rourke.
O’Rourke sees little promise in the domestic market, where per-capita consumption of fresh
Auvil Fruit Company
For a long time, Auvil Fruit Company had been on the lookout for a yellow, good-tasting dessert apple to add to its lineup of varieties, which includes Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Cripps Pink, but not a single Red or Golden Delicious apple.
Then along came Aurora, a pale yellow
Published January 15, 2011
If Okanagan Specialty Fruits’s nonbrowning apples win U.S. government approval for development and marketing, they will not be the first genetically modified fruits to come to market.
The first, of course, was the FlavrSavr tomato, approved in 1994 and used in the manufacture of tomato paste until
Capitalizing on Native American images to sell fruit, Skookum and Yum-Yum labels were developed in competing regions of Washington State.
After large-scale irrigation systems and a railroad network became operational in the Pacific Northwest, there was an exponential growth in the amount of fruit being harvested and marketed. This put an
Several years ago, National Apple Week was expanded into National Apple Month, which is actually three months long and involves intense promotion of apples during the harvest season of September, October, and November.
But for apple growers and marketers, marketing of the new crop kicks off the month before. More than
Because the red pigments are antioxidants, red-fleshed apples do not turn brown when sliced.
Swiss nursery owner and fruit breeder Markus Kobelt hit the headlines across Europe with the latest apple varieties he released. They are among the first red-fleshed apples in the world to go into commercial production.
Kobelt, who owns
A pear industry task force is looking at how the Pear Bureau Northwest might coordinate its domestic pear promotions with the companies supplying the pears.
The Pear Bureau works with 200 retailers around the United States to set up generic promotions for U.S. pears, leaving it up to the retailers to
John Baker, center, talks with supermarket staff in Dubai, a major market for Washington apples.
The Washington Apple Commission is running a training program for supermarkets in export markets to help retailers boost their sales of Washington apples and to ensure that consumers receive a high-quality product.
The commission began the retail-training
Rosa Lynn is a chance seedling discovered on Washington’s Royal Slope. The fruit stores well.
If you discover an exciting new apple variety and want it to succeed, it’s going to take more than just delivering it to the warehouse, a marketer says.
Dain Craver has been traveling the country promoting Rosa
A “dream team” of cherry researchers from across the nation is working on a project designed to help assure the profitability of the fresh sweet cherry industry in the future.
The project, entitled “A Total Systems Approach to Developing a Sustainable Stem-free Sweet Cherry Production, Processing and Marketing System,” was awarded
In the late 1800s, cigar labels were embossed and gilded with gold leaf or bronzing.
The rationale for eye-catching, well-designed fruit box labels was to create interest and brand loyalty in the marketplace—whether it was for fruit brokers or the ultimate consumer. Such a marketing technique was used before the advent
SweeTango orchards like this one at Pepin Heights produced enough fruit last year to start the buzz, which could rise to a crescendo this August if a good crop and the marketing plan come together as planned.
SweeTango apples will, nature cooperating, begin flowing to market in commercial quantities in late
Market research conducted during the 2009 season on behalf of the Northwest Cherry Growers shows that cherries maintain the number-one retail produce spot during the month of July, with an average dollar per square foot contribution of $208, possibly the highest number that retailers see all year.
The Northwest Cherry Growers,
A program that began by certifying vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley that were following practices to protect and restore salmon watersheds has grown to include more than half the wine grape acreage of Walla Walla Valley in Washington and Oregon and several vineyards in eastern Washington.
With major food companies joining the green movement, a growing number of farmers are being asked questions about their sustainability efforts and/or programs. Growers can either view the movement as opportunity or imposition, says Dr. Cliff Ohmart.
The Big M Brand is a beautiful example of a rare Montana label; it bears the production date of September 30, 1932, by Traung Label Company. Bitterroot Valley, printed by Schmidt Lithographic Company, and Equity are equally attractive apple labels.
Most fruit box label collectors focus on the Pacific Coast states—undoubtedly
As production volumes increase for Honeycrisp apples, the need for a longer marketing window becomes more important. Researchers like Ines Hanrahan are looking for ways to stretch storage of Honeycrisp beyond Christmas.
With consumers and retailers clamoring for the popular variety, growers have responded to the strong demand by planting more
Focus on what you can control was the message given to growers by cherry marketers who shared thoughts on how to move larger cherry crops in the future during a panel discussion at the Northwest Cherry Institute meeting in Yakima, Washington.
Last year’s late start of the Northwest cherry season was
Although Washington State’s wine industry is well positioned in the current ‘value-driven’ wine market, a wine consultant from Napa, California, offers some suggestions to help build demand for Washington wines.
Barbara Insel, president of Stonebridge Research Group, spent a few days visiting vineyards and wineries from Washington’s Walla Walla Valley to
About 250,000 wine SKUs (store keeping units) must funnel through fewer than 700 distributors to reach 450,000 wine-selling locations.
Wine producers are learning that in this down economy, it’s much easier to make the wine than sell it, says a Napa, California, wine business consultant.
Barbara Insel, president and CEO of Stonebridge
Winery owners must have solid financial management in place, says Barbara Insel, and that would include cutting out wines that are not profitable.
With a backlog of wine inventories clogging wine distribution channels, direct marketing offers wineries a chance to supplement sales and keep cash flow moving. A wine business consultant
Pacific Rim’s wine portfolio includes dry and sweet Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, and a few blends, but the brand identity of “Riesling Rules” pervades all communications.
In the hands of a creative marketer, 15 years of sweat and research can be boiled down to one word: BOING. That’s the tag line
It’s been said that when Grady Auvil discovered an early Fuji sport in his orchard in 1993, the tree fruit pioneer predicted it would “revolutionize” the Fuji market. More than 20 years later, early strains are helping to jumpstart the Fuji market, but they haven’t replaced standard Fujis.
The Auvil Early
New apple varieties from Washington State University’s breeding program present opportunities for the state’s growers, said Tom Auvil, research horticulturist with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission.
WSU has just released the first variety from its breeding program, WA 2, and has more in the pipeline. These varieties will be available
Perham Fruit Company used these five labels during the 1920s and 1930s.
Some of the most beautiful and sought-after fruit labels that collectors desire are the old Perham labels. Illustrated here are the five original company labels from the 1920s and 1930s. There are variations of each label. Swan, Tulip, Violet,
Chopped maraschino cherries destined for ice cream manufacturers.
As well as being a major producer and exporter of fresh fruit, Carleti S.A. owns the largest cherry processing company in Argentina, which produces maraschino and preserved cherries and jams for export.
Most of the processed cherries are yellow varieties, such as Royal Ann
There are too many new apple varieties, says Polish orchardist Krzysztof Hermanowicz.
New market niches, more emphasis on eating quality, technological advances in the orchard, more regional focus on food, and closer relationships with retailers are changes that a handful of tree fruit growers across the globe envision in the next
A new interest in clones and lesser-known varieties will drive vineyard plantings in Washington State in the next ten years, say industry experts.
Limited retail shelf space could impact the success of new varieties.
by Melissa Hansen
Crystal ball visions given by a cross section of Washington State’s wine grape industry show a
Cowin paid careful attention to marketing, and his high-quality fruit stood out in the marketplace.
In 1909-1910, Earle Cowin earned the distinction of being one of first Pacific Northwest fruit growers to plant an orchard on the Yakama Indian Reservation. Established as a result of the Treaty of 1855 between the
As the Pacific Northwest sweet cherry industry moves toward larger crops in the future, it will take the industry working together to achieve success, says the president of Northwest Cherry Growers. The Cherry Institute, scheduled for January 15 at the Convention Center in Yakima, Washington, aims to bring all segments
Laura Mrachek works to make a difference in the tree fruit industry.
Laura Mrachek, retiring president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, likes change.
So, when she predicts that orchardists are going to have to do things differently in the future, she sees the positive side of that.
“There’s a lot of change
When it comes to new varieties, John Rice predicts that in the next decade, most retailers will offer five main apple varieties year round—Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious—and use the sixth slot to feature seasonal varieties, like Honeycrisp in the early autumn months and other varieties
A rack card developed by CMI tells consumers about the health benefits of eating apples, with a focus on fiber content.
If the Washington apple industry wants to avoid losing shelf space, it should consider reinstating a general promotion program for the domestic market, suggests Steve Lutz, former president of the
With an office in Yakima, Washington, Wal-Mart plans to keep prices lower and buy directly from growers, cutting out the middleman, says a former Wal-Mart executive.
Former Wal-Mart insider Bruce Peterson sees the company’s recent move to do more direct buying from apple growers as one of several issues that the
How new varieties will coexist with those that have already carved out shelf space is the million-dollar question.
The biggest change from a marketer’s standpoint in the next decade will be the influence of the club varieties on the marketplace, says Bob Mast, marketing director at CMI (Columbia Marketing International) in
The flood of new apple varieties will continue until the consumer is so confused about the Washington apple identity that they might turn to something else that they can identify, predicts Dr. Don Heinicke, a grower at Orondo in north central Washington. Heinicke was asked to revisit the 1987 article
Walter Bolinger became a fruit grower and packer after working for many years as a shopkeeper.
Merchant, politician, real estate developer, orchardist—each of these terms could be used to describe Walter Albert Bolinger. Bolinger was a pioneer mercantile businessman in north central Washington State, helped plat the new town site of
With more than 30 years’ experience in all aspects of the tree fruit industry, Keith Mathews became CEO in October for the new marketing firm, FirstFruits Marketing of Washington.
Mathews was executive director of the Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association for the past two years, and for five years in the early
Michael Weber picks some samples of Mairac in a Washington State test planting.
With apple variety breeders putting a strong emphasis on accelerating the breeding process, it only makes sense to commercialize the resulting varieties as quickly as possible.
That’s the opinion of Michael Weber, managing director of a Swiss company called
Pete Van Well (left) and Alessio Martinelli of CIV, Italy, admire the color of Rubens apples in Wenatchee, Washington, just before harvest.
Rubens, a new apple variety from Italy, will be commercialized in North America in a novel way that is designed to reduce the risk for producers and to maximize
The tree fruit industry can learn some valuable lessons from past food-safety scares, according to Dr. David Gombas, senior vice president of scientific and technical affairs with the United Fresh Produce Association. Growers should be aware of, concerned about, and prepared for the following:
1 Consumers don’t care about relative risk.
Using environmentally sound, sustainable practices to produce tree fruit is one of the core values of supplier-partners of FirstFruits Marketing of Washington, a new marketing firm in Yakima, Washington.
Organic fruit will be an important part of the manifest at FirstFruits. Sales projections for organic fruit sales in the first year
Retired WSU apple breeder Dr. Bruce Barritt checks another promising selection in an evaluation plot in a commercial orchard.
Washington State University has granted an exclusive license for its first apple variety to the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, which plans to make it available to any Washington State grower.
The conversation among Pacific Northwest fruit growers tends to focus on the fresh market, where returns are generally more favorable. A very small percentage of apples and cherries are sold for processing—usually the lesser grade fruit. Pears are the exception. Winter pear marketing is consistent with apples and cherries, but
A family samples USA pears in a supermarket in the city of Dubai. The United Arab Emirates is a significant market for USA Pears.
Jeff Correa, Pear Bureau Northwest
The Pear Bureau is looking forward to marketing one of the industry’s largest pear crops for the 2009-2010 season. With warm summer weather
Dear Good Fruit Grower:
Over the years, being in Connecticut and trying to equate the delight fruit testers experience in western orchards with tree-ripe fruit, has been impossible. These testers are often important in deciding what –varieties of fruit are eventually grown and marketed.
When fruit is harvested weeks before retail sales
Winery owners Stacy Lill (left) and Kathy Johanson provide mentoring and scholarships for young women.
The idea was hatched on Halloween night, 2006. Over dinner with their husbands, long-time pals Kathy Johanson and Stacy Lill decided to establish a winery for a good cause; specifically, to fund college scholarships for underprivileged
For the past several years, each of these articles has focused on a particular fruit grower or marketer with distinctive crate labels. In this issue, for a change of pace, the focus will instead be on an equally distinctive form of the fruit grower’s marketing art—company letterheads.
Traung, Schmidt, and most
The Washington apple industry expects to harvest a crop of large, high-quality apples this fall, which is what buyers want.
“We’re seeing excellent size and excellent type,” said Bruce Grim, manager of the Washington Apple Growers Marketing Association.
A year ago, marketers were trying to make their old-crop apples eke out until
Norm Gutzwiler wants growers who put more time and effort into raising quality cherries to be rewarded.
The Washington State fresh cherry industry has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to introduce a premium grade for the state’s Rainier cherries.
The new grade, requested by the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee, defines the
Wilbert “Bill” Hansen was an exception to the rule about many successful fruit industry people being born and raised in the Midwest, because Hansen grew up right in the Yakima Valley on a small hardscrabble farm near Harrah, Washington. Everyone in the family, including Bill, worked hard to make ends
Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling tasted wines produced from Puget Sound appellation grapes during a visit to Washington State University’s Northwest Research and Extension Center in Mt. Vernon.
On the job only a few months, Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling already has big plans for Washington State University’s viticulture and enology program.
The Good Fruit Grower
Children enjoy novel hybrid fruits during a tasting at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.
Zaiger Genetics, Inc., internationally acclaimed for developing interspecific fruit, is breeding cherries and plums together in the search for a hybrid cherry-plum, or cherum.
The Modesto, California, fruit-breeding company has had success in creating novel
Changes in the fruit industry are related to changes in the global economy, says Terry Bacon of Sun World.
California’s stone fruit industry is in a deep crisis. Growers and marketers are being squeezed out of business by rising costs, overproduction, stagnant prices, water shortages, and the difficulties of getting financing,
The promotional assessment on Pacific Northwest processed pears will increase from $5 to $7.11 per ton this season in an attempt to keep the Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service functioning.
The volume of pears grown for processing has declined significantly over the past 15 years, B.J. Thurlby, manager of the Processed