Did you have enough workers to harvest your crop? Will you next year? How could proposed food-safety regulations affect your business? Will apples continue to grow in popularity with the increasingly diverse and picky American consumer? How will you respond to an industrywide crisis that could threaten consumer confidence? What effects could a growing global apple industry and new trade policies have on the U.S. industry?

The U.S. Apple Association works to ensure profitable business operations, despite the challenges facing the U.S. apple industry.

We are continually educating Congress, consumers, retailers, the medical community, and the media about the industry and the important role apples play in our diets, and working to protect our industry from harmful regulations and publicity. With a new president and new Congress, there are important challenges ahead. USApple has been working on several fronts:

Labor reform—Labor shortages and complex and costly labor reform regulations could affect growers’ ability to harvest their crops.

Food safety rules—Congress may add mandatory food-safety laws next year that affect every apple grower. USApple supports food-safety rules and guidelines that are risk-based and reflect sound science—those that are prudent, practical and fair, and that allow your business the flexibility to incorporate meaningful food-safety practices while maintaining the competitiveness of U.S. producers.

Growing sales—We have actively supported federal programs such as Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the School Lunch Program, and Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program because these programs present a dynamic market for the apple industry.

Farm bill—US Apple supported passage of the new Farm Bill, which addresses the significance of specialty crops and provides opportunities to grow your business with new programs to reduce costs, expand marketing, and increase consumption.

Crisis communication—USApple continually monitors potential crises that could threaten apple profits. We have trained staff ready with industry answers for media and consumers, and the technical and physical resources to deliver these messages, should a crisis occur.

Expanding Exports—USApple supports trade policies that promote greater market access through reductions in foreign import duties and nontariff trade barriers. This includes expansion of the Market Access Program (MAP) and full funding for the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Industry resource

USApple is a source of timely and commercially valuable information about U.S. and world apple trends and markets. Our monthly "Apple News" keeps you informed about important legislation and regulations, new research, and consumer trends that affect your business. Our "Market News" movement and storage reports keep you apprised of apple industry operations across the country. Our "Apple-a-Day" e-newsletter reaches health, nutrition, and education professionals worldwide, promoting the numerous health benefits associated with apple consumption. And our association’s annual Apple Crop Outlook and Marketing Conference offers you breakthrough crop data, critical and timely industry information, and networking opportunities.

Regional hort shows

In the coming months, USApple staff and members will attend key events in targeted states, exhibiting and speaking at state and regional apple and horticultural shows, including the Washington State Horticultural Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show, December 1-3, in Yakima, Washington (you’ll find us next to the Washington Apple Commission exhibit).

Please contact me at (800) 781-4443 or nfoster@ usapple.org should you have any questions or comments concerning membership in the U.S. Apple Association.