• Should WAC come back?

Should WAC come back?

  • December 1st, 2009

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 [...]

  • Produce expert

Produce expert

  • December 1st, 2009

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 [...]

  • Market limitations

Market limitations

  • December 1st, 2009

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) [...]

  • Changes will come faster. Will you keep up?

Changes will come faster. Will you keep up?

  • December 1st, 2009

Agricultural economist

Two decades ago, at a time when the industry had yet to produce more than 60 million boxes of apples and Red Delicious made up almost 75 percent of the crop, agricultural economist Dr. Des O’Rourke warned that it would be difficult for Washington to hold onto its [...]

Major organic player

  • November 1st, 2009

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 [...]

  • Last Bite – Groceries, politics, land, fruit

Last Bite – Groceries, politics, land, fruit

  • November 1st, 2009

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 [...]

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 [...]

Five food-safety lessons

  • November 1st, 2009

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 [...]

  • 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, [...]