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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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Cherries with a challenge

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Chilean cherry grower Pablo Garcés (fourth from left) is general manager and part owner of 800 growing hectares (almost 2,000 acres), half of the acreage is planted with cherries.

Former agronomist Oscar Letelier decided to become

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Argentine cherry

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Argentina, the second-largest country in South America, has a small but expanding cherry industry. Around half of the countrys 7,000 acres of cherry orchards are in the state of Mendoza, which is located east of

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The race to market

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A group of more than 30 cherry growers and horticulturists from around the world took part in a recent tour in Argentina and Chile organized by Susan Pheasant, Mauricio Frias, and Claudia Acosta. Geraldine Warner

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A new game

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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

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Last Bite

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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

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Marketing maraschinos

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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

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Last Bite – The Land of the Yakamas

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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

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Nursery perspective

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These finished nursery trees will soon be harvested and prepared for later planting by growers.

With the proliferation of new tree fruit varieties released in the last decade, the next ten years should spark consumer interest

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Cherry Institute looks to the future

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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

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Australia’s water crisis forces changes

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Dealing with rising temperatures may be a conundrum for fruit growers confronting ­climate change, but in Australia it’s been ­complicated by widespread drought since 2003.

Two years ago, participants in the annual International Fruit Tree Association

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How many is too many?

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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

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Should WAC come back?

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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

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Market limitations

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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

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Apple marketing incentive

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“If an apple were to explode like a hand grenade when it reached a stage of ripeness not permitting it to reach the consumer in good condition, we would have a red-hot incentive to do

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Embracing change

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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

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Produce expert

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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

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Changes will come faster. Will you keep up?

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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.

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Identity crisis

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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

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Blast from the past

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Robots harvesting fruit, scientists creating the perfect apple trees in petri dishes, and a fruit industry run by conglomerates were just some of the changes envisioned for the next half century by industry leaders, as

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