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Last Bite — The rise and fall of the fruit box label

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As this is the last article in this series, I decided to provide a brief overview of the history of the fruit box label, as described in The Ultimate Fruit Label Book, which I authored

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Gearing up for a new season

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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

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Keeping the customer satisfied

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Over the past ten years I have initiated a number of research trials that, when taken together, tell an important story about the link between apple quality and profitability. I often quote my mantra that

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The apple world in 2020

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A panel of experts took a look ahead at what the apple industry might be like in 2020, ten years from now.

It was part of the U.S. Apple Association’s outlook and marketing ­conference in Chicago

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Last Bite – Exponential growth

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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

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Totally RED

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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

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Quick Bites

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Large apple crop forecast
The Washington apple industry expects to harvest a record 108.8 million boxes of fresh apples this fall. That’s six million boxes more than during the 2009-2010 season that just ended, but only

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Pear promotions pondered

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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

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Apple Lines

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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

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China: big country, small wine market

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Wine importer and distributor Scott Hitchcock, left, sampled Butch Milbrandt’s wines (Milbrandt Vineyards) during the Washington Wine Commission’s Wine Experience. Hitchcock came to learn about the potential of importing Washington wines into China.

China and its

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Yakima Valley wines in China

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Hyatt Vineyards, in the Yakima Valley subappellation of Rattlesnake Hills, was founded as a small estate vineyard surrounding the winery in 1983 by Leland and Lynda Hyatt.

What appeared to be a normal wine tasting visit

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Good Point – Kevin Moffitt

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A recent study shows how successful the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development programs are and can be. It would be a shame if the funding for these programs were reduced in the

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New apples for New York

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Dr. Susan Brown began breeding the new releases in 1996 and screened thousands of seedlings in the search.

Right from the start, Dr. Susan Brown knew what she wanted: An apple that was as delightful to

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Exclusively New York

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A row of New York 1 apples nears maturity.

Cornell University  has had an apple breeding program for about 110 years, and it’s been quite successful. New York 1 and New York 2 are the 65th

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A grower reaches out to consumers

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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

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Good Stuff

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Voliam label expansion
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has approved a label expansion for Voliam Xpress insectide, which allows its use on pome and stone fruits, and other crops. Voliam, developed by Syngenta Crop Protection,

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Cheaper, greener SHIPPING

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After crossing the Cascade Mountains, the Seattle-Chicago train can pick up another 15 rail cars in Quincy to carry Washington produce to Chicago.

A new direct rail service between central Washington and Chicago gives tree fruit

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NW questions cherry fruit fly quarantine

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The western cherry fruit fly has not been found in California’s cherry-growing districts.

State officials in Oregon and Washington say ­California’s quarantine requirements for the Western cherry fruit fly are unjustified.

Helmuth Rogg, supervisor of the Oregon

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Quarantine alternative

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Dr. Wee Yee, entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Yakima, Washington, is conducting research to assess the likelihood of cherry fruit fly becoming established in certain overseas markets that are concerned about potential

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Last Bite – Low-grade labels highly valued

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Labels of “cooker” grade or C grade apples were usually green, yellow, or white. Today, collectors will often pay more for these rarer labels.

The color of an apple box label generally determined the grade of

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Keeping cherry growing profitable

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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

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Cigar box labels preceded fruit box labels

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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

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You hear that buzz?

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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

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Cherries still top summer produce item

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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

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Moth poses little risk in Taiwan

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Dr. Lisa Neven is studying the survival of codling moth larvae in tropical conditions.

There is little risk of codling moth larvae shipped in apples to Taiwan resulting in the pest becoming established in that country,

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Promoting ecolabel wines

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.

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Sustainability: imposition or opportunity?

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.

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Good to Go

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Italy orchard tour
Susan Pheasant and Mauricio Frías are offering an intensive technical tour of South Tyrol orchards in November to learn about high-density orchard systems, production practices, and specialized machinery for tree fruit. The tour

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New organic organization

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Minnesota grower Harry Hoch helped found a new organization called the Organic Tree Fruit Growers Association, and his wife, Jackie, is the first president.

The organization started as an informal network of a few upper Midwest

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Last Bite–From doctor to farmer

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The altimeter on John Kloeber’s label at right shows an altitude of 1,500 feet, a suggestion that fruit grown in orchards at high altitudes is of high quality. Upper right: The Green River Hot Springs

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Eye on the Middle East

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Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates, is the major fruit import port in the Persian Gulf with its trade tentacles reaching to Yemen in the south, Iraq in the north, and Sudan in the

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Last Bite – Pioneer of exports to Europe

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The firm of Simons, Shuttleworth, and French Company, Inc., was one of the first to specialize in exporting apples from the Pacific Northwest to England and the European continent.

The company was organized under the laws

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Apple Lines–Full access to China needed

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China is open to Red Delicious apples from Washington. Whereas Red Delicious can be shipped direct to major markets in China, Gala and Granny Smith apples reach China through the gray market via Hong Kong.

Gala

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Last Bite — Legacy of labels from Montana

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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

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Conversations with the city

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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

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Stretching storage of Honeycrisp

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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

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Moving larger crops in the future

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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

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Last Bite – A double-duty fruit box label

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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

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Wine market trends

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 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

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Washington wine industry should tell its story

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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

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Turn tasting room visits into sales

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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

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Creating brand identity

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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

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Swiss company expands to Chile

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Ditzler uses five machines to harvest sweet dark cherries for processing into yogurts and ice creams. Cherries are harvested day and night.

A Swiss company that produces frozen fruits for yogurts and ice creams is growing

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Who’s pushing red strains?

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Yakima, Washington, grower-packer Dave Allan doesn’t think consumers are the ones demanding redder apples.

The worldwide popularity of Gala, a variety that originally was an apple with orange-red stripes and a cream-yellow background, would seem to

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Is redder better?

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Gale Gala is one of more than 30 Gala strains.

In the last two decades, Gala apples have taken the world by storm, finding favor around the globe with consumers and growers. But as redder and

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Early Fujis kick-start the season

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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

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Seeking strength in adversity

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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

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Cherries in Chile

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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

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Taking cover

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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

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Nursery goes high-tech

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This machine carries five workers on seats through a block of nursery trees to remove suckers. The machine can be used without seats but with different attachments for spraying and weed control.

A nursery in Chile

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