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The Washington Apple Commission will receive nearly $8.5 million through the USDA Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) funding program, according to a news release. The program is designed to help mitigate the damages from the additional trade tariffs imposed on Washington apples in several key export markets.

ATP funding is a cost-share program and requires a minimum 10 percent industry match. The Washington Apple Commission is one of 57 organizations awarded additional funding by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service from a budget of $200 million.

According to the news release, the strategy for the trade mitigation funding will focus on the following:

—Implementing consumer brand-building activities in Mexico, China and India to create added value for Washington apples, in light of the tariff impact on retail pricing.

—Introducing the new Cosmic Crisp variety to the Canadian market. The new variety will be commercially available in the fall of 2019.

—Increasing consumer messaging around health and trust in Southeast Asia, a growing market for Washington apples.

The Agricultural Trade Promotion program is a one-time, nonrenewable funding source. Funding for the approved activities will be spread out over an 18-to 24-month period, starting next season.

The ATP program is a part of the Trump administration’s $12 billion three-part trade aid package designed to alleviate adverse effects of ongoing trade conflicts on agricultural producers.

—by Jonelle Mejica