China opens to Washington State apples

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  • Conversations with the city

Conversations with the city

  • February 15th, 2010

Orchardists represent a sliver of American agriculture. Most of our nation’s farmers grow field crops such as corn, wheat, and soybeans. Many raise livestock, for meat or dairy. Others in the produce sector tend fields of potatoes or carrots or lettuce. All in all, fewer than 2 percent of [...]

Stretching storage of Honeycrisp

  • February 15th, 2010

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 [...]

Moving larger crops in the future

  • February 15th, 2010

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 [...]

Wine market trends

  • February 1st, 2010

 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 [...]

  • Last Bite – A double-duty fruit box label

Last Bite – A double-duty fruit box label

  • February 1st, 2010

The ranch house still exists but the sign identifying the property, which was unusual for an area fruit ranch, is long gone.

Ordinarily, this column begins with a history of an individual or company that was responsible for a particular label or label design. However, the unique quality of the [...]

Washington wine industry should tell its story

  • February 1st, 2010

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 [...]

  • Turn tasting room visits into sales

Turn tasting room visits into sales

  • February 1st, 2010

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 [...]

  • Creating brand identity

Creating brand identity

  • February 1st, 2010

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 [...]

  • Seeking strength in adversity

Seeking strength in adversity

  • January 15th, 2010

The disastrous 2009 Northwest cherry deal could be a catalyst for change, resulting in a stronger industry, industry representatives said during a panel discussion at the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting.

Last season, the Northwest cherry industry packed 22.5 million boxes of fresh cherries, more than double the short [...]

  • Early Fujis  kick-start the season

Early Fujis kick-start the season

  • January 15th, 2010

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 [...]

  • Cherries in Chile

Cherries in Chile

  • January 15th, 2010

Shawn Gay visits a high-producing Bing, Lapins, and Sweetheart orchard in the Puente Negro area of Chile.

Like other fruit-growing regions around the world, Chile is seeing a rapid expansion of its cherry industry. Its wide range of climates allows its cherry growers to have cherries on the world market [...]

  • Taking cover

Taking cover

  • January 15th, 2010

Iuar Iraira (foreground), manager of the Fundo Agua Buena orchard (in the center picture), discusses the Voen louvered rain cover with international visitors. The area, south of Temuco, receives more than 70 inches of rainfall annually.

Producing some of the latest maturing cherries in Chile is Leonardo Salas’s competitive advantage—and [...]