Industry veteran is new CEO

  • November 1st, 2009

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 [...]

  • On the fast track

On the fast track

  • November 1st, 2009

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 [...]

  • Novel approach

Novel approach

  • November 1st, 2009

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 [...]

  • WSU releases its first apple variety

WSU releases its first apple variety

  • October 1st, 2009

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 [...]

  • In My View – Jay Grandy

In My View – Jay Grandy

  • September 1st, 2009

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, [...]

  • Pear export prospects

Pear export prospects

  • September 1st, 2009

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 [...]

Tough cherry deal refocuses industry

  • September 1st, 2009

The 2009 season should have been a banner year for Northwest cherries, judging by the volume and quality of cherries shipped, the amount of retail shelf space and advertising devoted to cherries, and the feedback from the market. But for growers, it was a dud. An oversupplied market resulted [...]

  • Wine with a cause

Wine with a cause

  • August 1st, 2009

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 [...]

  • Last Bite – The story behind letterheads

Last Bite – The story behind letterheads

  • August 1st, 2009

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 [...]

  • Good crop on the tree

Good crop on the tree

  • August 1st, 2009

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 [...]

In the Box

  • August 1st, 2009

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 [...]

  • Premium Rainiers

Premium Rainiers

  • July 1st, 2009

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 [...]