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Washington Fruit and Produce company is building a new apple packing facility at River Road, Yakima, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. It is part of a long-range expansion of the property that also includes controlled atmosphere storage and cherry packing and shipping facilities as well as a new headquarters for its office staff.

The new 300,000-square-foot apple facility will expand the company’s capacity and incorporate the latest packing technology. It has been designed with fruit quality and food safety in mind.

Tom Hanses, operations manager, reports that the company has been packing fruit 20 hours a day, seven days a week on its existing line and wants to maintain its ability to pack to high standards as production increases.  Washington’s 2014 crop is estimated at 155 million packed boxes, up from 115 million in 2013.