Two Michigan apple shippers are joining forces on sales and marketing, BelleHarvest and Michigan Fresh Marketing announced in June. The combined sales force will represent about 150 growers and operate seven packing facilities in Michigan and Wisconsin, according to a news release from BelleHarvest, making it the second largest apple
Pear Bureau Northwest announced in a news release the first official fresh pear crop estimate for the 2019-20 season. Pear growers and producers from Washington’s Wenatchee and Yakima districts and Oregon’s Medford and Mid-Columbia districts anticipate harvesting 17.3 million 44-pound box equivalents, or approximately 380,000 tons of fresh pears.
Cosmic Crisp, the new apple variety developed by Washington State University as WA 38, will be part of a partnership with two refrigerated product companies: Crunch Pak, the sliced apple specialist, and Litehouse, known for its refrigerated salad dressings and innovative consumer packaged goods.
According to a news release from
For the first time, more Northwest-grown Bartlett pears headed into the fresh market than the processing market last year.
Processors canned just under 100,000 tons and packers took just over 100,000 tons, B.J. Thurlby, manager of the Processing Pear Committee, told the committee’s board at its annual meeting in Portland
Seneca Foods is getting out of the processed pear business and will shutter its Sunnyside, Washington, plant this fall.
The Marion, New York, food company plans to honor existing grower commitments to process the 2019 pear crop before closing sometime in October or November, Tim Benjamin, the chief financial officer, told
Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., based in Summerland, British Columbia, announced its newest genetically modified, nonbrowning Arctic apple variety, Arctic Fuji, completed the voluntary review process with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on April 26. Arctic Fuji is the third apple variety approved for OSF to grow, along with Arctic
E. & J. Gallo Winery announced April 3 that it has entered into an agreement with Constellation Brands Inc. to purchase more than 30 wine and spirits brands, along with six winemaking facilities located in California, Washington and New York.
According to a news release, among the brands joining the
The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council announced in a news release three new board members: Erica Shiles, Bonnie Lundblad and Matt Duffield.
Shiles is a fourth-generation family farmer on F & R Grasso, in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. The farm was purchased in 1953 and harvests several peach varieties throughout the
The Auction of Washington Wines has named industry veteran Jamie Peha its interim executive director, effective immediately.
According to a news release, Peha has already played a key role as part of the AWW team. As director of the event’s Private Barrel Auction, she grew the program from eight wine lots
Wine broker describes transition period from shortage to excess.
The impact of smoke taint from wildfires is the focus of the Washington Advancements in Viticulture and Enology (WAVEx) research seminar on April 17 in Richland, Washington.
In a surprise comeback, Oregon regained the top spot among the nation’s blueberry producers in 2018, with a record-setting increase of 23.3 million pounds over the state’s 2017 production.
Bryan Ostlund, chair of the Oregon Blueberry Commission, said Oregon’s 2018 crop totaled
134.1 million pounds, with about 55 percent going
Cornell University researchers, using a new, more precise framework for economic impact analysis, found the New York apple industry has a 21 percent larger economic impact compared to traditional models.
New owner plans to continue many employee-support programs created by Broetje.
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
The U.S. Apple Association announced its class of 2019 Young Apple Leaders, a group of young women and men selected by the organization to join with and learn from USApple leaders as they advocate on issues impacting growers and the apple industry.
“The 2019 Young Apple Leaders’ class is the largest
The future for the Washington wine industry remains bright, but some headwinds are coming in the near term that could dampen future prospects.
That’s the word from wine economist Chris Bitter of Vintage Economics at the Washington Winegrowers annual conference in Kennewick, Washington.
“The key is to have realistic expectations, and
BC Tree Fruits, which packs the bulk of British Columbia’s apples, has laid off a few familiar faces as part of the cooperative’s restructuring.
In January, the Kelowna-based company cut seven positions over various departments and supervisory levels as part of its changes to seek competitive edges in a rapidly changing
Sweet cherry growers can learn about the latest research and technology at the upcoming Cherry Fruit School, From Bud to Bucket, hosted by Washington State University Tree Fruit Extension and Oregon State University Extension Service.
The Cherry Fruit School is scheduled on March 12 and 13 at four locations: Wenatchee,
Sales of the MAIA-1 apple variety, developed by the Midwest Apple Improvement Association and marketed as EverCrisp, have expanded to Texas.
Described as sweet, juicy and firm, EverCrisp combines the best features of its parent varieties, Honeycrisp and Fuji, and is now in its second season selling at grocery stores.
Pear Bureau Northwest announced the expansion of the American Heart Association’s heart-healthy branding to all 10 varieties of pears from the Northwest.
“We have received positive feedback from retailers and nutritionists throughout the industry since launching the heart-healthy certification of Anjou, Bartlett and Bosc pears, and we are pleased to
From agricultural labor to farm bill programs, regulations and trade agreements, the policies and decisions made in Washington, D.C., impact your business every day. Responding to these critical issues and ensuring the “apple voice” is heard by members of Congress and the administration is a top priority for the USApple
President Donald Trump on Thursday signed the $867 billion Farm Bill that Congress passed last week with bipartisan support.
The five-year Farm Bill ensures several items of funding that affect the tree fruit industry. Among them are continued support of work to fight pests and diseases, enhancement of the National Clean
Block by block, the Plath family has grown a company — and a reputation for quality — by focusing on every aspect of fruit production from tree to market.
Daniels brings prior experience in events, communications and marketing
Huge gathering of growers set for December in Michigan.
Growers to gather for December’s annual conference in Yakima, Washington.
Growers, inventors are hoping markets Rave about First Kiss.
L’Ecole’s current general manager Debbie Frol will retire at the end of the year.
British Columbia growers double down to hit the late-season market.
The Food Purchase and Distribution Program will buy up to $1.2 billion in food products “unfairly targeted by unjustified retaliation.”
The same apple breeding team that brought Honeycrisp to market is releasing a new cultivar this year.
The Michigan Apple Committee has hired John Woodall as regional manager covering the northern region of the U.S.
Sarah Dressel of Dressel Farms in New Paltz, New York, has been named chairperson of the board of directors for the New York Apple Association, the organization that represents the 600 commercial apple growers in New York.
In an announcement, NYAA President Cynthia Haskins called the appointment significant for NYAA and
The Washington Apple Commission has hired Toni Lynn Adams as a communications outreach coordinator.
Northwest Fruit Exporters is now a member of the Northwest Horticultural Council.
family background / Steven has helped change Murray Family Farms’ business, adding farm markets and agritourism at locations in California’s Southern San Joaquin Valley. He graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and is the son of Steve and Vickie Murray.
age / 32
crops / Cherries, diversified crops
business / Murray Family
A delegation representing the Northwest tree fruit industry will be meeting with Trump administration officials and members of Congress next week to discuss foreign trade sanctions negatively impacting the industry.
The meeting, originally intended to focus strictly on exports to China, has been in the works for a couple of months,
Pear Bureau Northwest hires regional marketing manager
Industry members fear trade disputes could impact largest export market.
Finicky variety finds success in central New Zealand climate.
Speakers at the 2018 Washington Winegrowers annual convention bring big-picture perspective.
Dollars from China fuel a new Washington vineyard and resort
Paul Newstead has joined Domex Superfresh Growers as Director of Business Development.
According to the company’s news release:
In this role, Newstead will be responsible for generating new customers and building existing
relationships across North America. To do this, he will leverage Superfresh Growers expansive line of Northwest tree fruit, as well as
Munch Madness has begun.
The third annual promotion of the U.S. Apple Association pits apple varieties against each other in popular votes tournament-style.
Organizers ask apple eaters to visit applevsapple.com to vote for their favorite varieties through the different stages of the tournament. The contest includes the top 16 selling varieties.
Wells Fargo ag economist to give broad perspective — ‘upstream, downstream and sideways’ — at Washington annual meeting.
Pear handlers will elect nominees for a Wenatchee district grower position and a handler position on the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order 927.
Pear handlers will elect nominees for a Yakima district grower position on the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order 927.
family background / James grew up in Woodinville, Washington, and earned an environmental science degree from the University of Idaho. After his degree, he toured California vineyards and fell in love with farming, diving into viticulture courses at Walla Walla Community College.
age / 34
crops / Grapes
business / Vineyard manager at
The Washington Apple Commission overpaid a contractor in India more than $500,000, according to a state investigation first reported by The Wenatchee World newspaper.
Nominations for grower and handler positions on the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee and Washington Apricot Marketing Committee will take place during industry meetings in January. The committees establish grade, size and pack regulations for fresh cherries and apricots from designated counties in Washington state.
Those attending the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit will get a glimpse of Stemilt Growers without having to leave the conference.
A premium price
Recently, a willingness-to-pay study has shown that consumers are willing to pay up to 20 cents more for high-quality, sliced, fresh packed pears treated with a ripening compound compared to sliced fresh packed pears with no treatment.
The study shows the promise of the slicing segment to the pear
A free Intellectual Property Washington Summit for growers will be held Sept. 21 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Yakima, Washington.
The event will feature presentations by Proprietary Variety Management, a patent attorney, a trademark attorney, an expert on product naming and brand development, and an expert on enforcement topics with
The Oregon Sweet Cherry Commission is considering a proposed administrative rule change to reduce the assessment rate on brine cherries.
Bryant Christie Inc., a company that helps agricultural, food and beverage producers open and expand foreign markets, celebrated its 25th anniversary on July 1.
The company was founded in 1992 as W.L. Bryant Co. by Bill Bryant, who was previously a vice president of the Northwest Horticultural Council in Yakima, Washington.
The application period for the 2017 Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship is now open.
Appealing taste profiles, earlier harvesting and southern expansions are some of the characteristics of the many new apples making their way into offerings this year.
Beyond Cosmic Crisp, which is causing a stir in Washington, a number of other apples are pushing their way into this increasingly dynamic field.
One of them
Planting surge of highly hyped Cosmic Crisp is likely to test growers, packers, marketers — and consumers.
America’s grocery stores are undergoing tremendous change.
Profits face downward pressure. Consumers are buying more from outside of traditional supermarkets. Online purveyors such as Blue Apron are on the rise. Two big German chains are expanding their presence in the U.S.
Then there’s Amazon, the online juggernaut that has turned its gaze to food
Six weeks after announcing a merger with another fruit company, Chelan Fresh has entered into an exclusive marketing agreement with Columbia Valley Fruit of Union Gap, Washington.
Under the agreement, Chelan fresh will be the exclusive marketer of Columbia Valley Fruit’s organic and conventional apples. The fruit will be marketed under
Here is an ongoing roundup of responses to President Donald Trump’s federal budget proposal, which was released Tuesday, May 23.
Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance:
“We are very disappointed to see the President’s budget, released yesterday, call for draconian cuts, or even total elimination of programs that are important to the specialty
In Washington, we just came through the rainiest March on record, and the view from the window tells me the season has yet to give way to what most of us would call “springtime conditions.”
The public member position of the Processed Pear Committee will be up for nomination during the committee's annual meeting.
Cosmic Crisp has been a huge topic among growers for years, and now the variety is gaining profile in the general media.
National Public Radio sent a reporter to Wenatchee, Washington, to interview growers and researchers about the apple. That’s helpful for Washington growers, who will have nine million Cosmic
Two longtime Washington state fruit companies will join forces when Chelan Fresh merges with Borton Fruit this summer.
Google the phrase “The Napa Valley of Hard Cider.”
Turns out, a lot of places, including southwest Michigan, New York’s Hudson Valley and various locales in New England, are gunning for the title.
However, experts advise growers interested in producing apples to fuel the hard cider market’s rapid growth to look
Overwhelming majorities in favor of order
‘Value-added’ markets are key
Members of the Washington Apple Commission and Columbia Fruit Packers were among a group of apple industry leaders from across the country who met with members of Congress on March 23 in Washington, D.C.
The meetings were part of the U.S. Apple Association’s annual fly-in.
Todd Fryhover and Lindsey Huber of the
family background/ Lacey grew up working alongside her family on their farm Hulbert Farms and Skagit Seed Services in La Conner, Washington.
business/Vineyard Manager, Sagemoor Vineyards
How did you get your start?
As a recent graduate of Washington State University, I joined Ste. Michelle Wine Estates as an intern and learned from
An election for the Fresh Pear Committee handler position for Medford, Oregon, will be held March 28 in Medford, Oregon.
The election for the two-year term will be at 2 p.m. at Naumes, Inc. (2 W. Barnett Street) in Medford.
The position is held by Laura Naumes, with Mike Naumes and Gerald May as first and second alternates, respectively.
An election for the Processed Pear Committee handler position for Oregon District No. 2 will be held March 15 in Hood River, Oregon.
The election for the two-year term will be at noon at Grace Su’s China Gorge restaurant (2680 Old Columbia River Drive) in Hood River.
The position is held by Rob Peterson,
Pear handlers will elect nominees for the Wenatchee, Washington, district position on the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order 927.
The position will be filled at the Washington Pear Marketing Association meeting at noon on March 28 at the Washington Apple Commission conference room.
The Apple Commission is located at 2900 Euclid Avenue
Michigan State project peels away the unknowns of hard cider apples.
For the first year ever, Bing was not king.
In 2016, Northwest cherry growers shipped more Sweetheart cherries than any other variety, including the historically dominant Bing, according to a board of directors update from the Washington State Fruit Commission.
The Northwest cherry industry shipped 3.49 million 20-pound box equivalents of Sweethearts,
The Pear Bureau is celebrating 85 years of promoting the beautiful and delicious pears nurtured by our growers in Washington and Oregon each year.
We employ a variety of proven and effective tools, techniques and strategies designed to increase consumer awareness and consumption of Northwest pears on behalf of fresh pear
The Pear Bureau is celebrating 85 years of promoting the beautiful and delicious pears nurtured by our growers in Washington and Oregon each year.
We employ a variety of proven and effective tools, techniques and strategies designed to increase consumer awareness and consumption of Northwest pears on behalf of fresh pear
The Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association are seeking public input on a draft framework for responsible labor practices in the fresh produce and floral supply chains.
The boards of the two groups established a joint committee last year to look into the issue amid growing interest in transparency
Pear growers will elect nominees for positions on the Fresh Pear Committee (FPC) of Marketing Order #927. The committee is responsible for the collection of assessments for research, and the promotion and advertising of all pears marketed in the domestic and export markets.
The FPC grower position for the Mid-Columbia district
In Washington’s tree fruit industry, three state commissions, four federal marketing orders, numerous nonprofit associations and a few advisory committees all intertwine to create a network of industry organizations to support growers.
All that representation, with their acronyms, subcommittees and meeting schedules, provide places for growers to get involved and learn
Pear growers will elect nominees for positions on the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order No. 927.
The committee is responsible for the collection of assessments for research and the promotion and advertising of all pears marketed in the domestic and export markets.
The FPC grower position for the Wenatchee, Washington, district
The 74th annual Cherry Institute is set for Jan. 20, 2017, at the Yakima Convention Center in Yakima, Washington.
The program, which begins at 8:30 a.m., will highlight trellis engineering, platform use, powdery mildew, the breeding program, nutrient diagnostics, reducing postharvest cracking and splitting, costs of establishing and producing sweet cherries,
Two words can sum up Monday afternoon’s session of the 112th annual meeting of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association: Cosmic Crisp.
Washington growers will begin the first plantings of the new Washington State University variety WA 38, which will be known commercially as Cosmic Crisp.
More than 600,000 trees are expected
Speakers hammered away at the theme of “change” to kick off the 112th annual meeting of the Washington tree fruit industry.
Change in a U.S. president. Change in technology. Change in food safety regulations. Change in customer shopping habits.
“Change comes no matter how long we ignore it,” said Sam Godwin, chairman
Some Washington producers are caught off guard by international propagation plans for WA 38.
Expert view: Individual growers must take on customer fears about GMOs and chemicals.
Okanagan Speciality Fruits, maker of genetically modified apples, was at the PMA FreshSummit to unveil test packaging for its apples.
At PMA, Okanagan used the slogan, “Making the Perfect Fruit Better.” The Arctic apple is controversial with some growers and consumer organizations, but both the U.S. and Canadian governments have cleared
Illnesses caused by foodborne pathogens are becoming much easier to track and investigate, and new science — whole genome sequencing — is enabling outbreaks to be traced to the source of the investigation.
That means apple growers and packers need to up their game, according to Frank Yiannas, vice president of
The newest apple variety developed by the University of Minnesota, MN55, will be sold under the brand name Rave.
Seventeen years in the making from original breeding to final release and licensing, MN55 is a cross between Honeycrisp and an unreleased variety called MonArk.
It carries the flavor and quality attributes of
Grab and go for consumer convenience
Aftermath of an outbreak
Jacqui Gordon Nunez has been named director of education and member services at the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, based in Yakima, Washington.
Nunez has a background in food and horticulture, with a degree in Ingeniera Agroindustrial (equivalent to a bachelor’s of science in food science) from Escuela Politécnica Nacional in
Marketing challenges in the Mid-Atlantic
The product of a breeding program at the University of Minnesota, the SweeTango apple variety is gaining numbers, says a growers cooperative.
The 2016 crop is now estimated at 450,000 standard 40-lb boxes, an 18 percent increase over last year’s crop of 380,000 boxes.
Here’s the press release:
Lake City, Minn. – July 13, 2016 – Members
Sometimes a smiley face just doesn’t convey your emotions. Maybe you feel a little … pear instead.
Pear Bureau Northwest hopes so. The Portland, Oregon, organization has sponsored a pear emoji.
What’s an emoji? Also called emoticon, it’s a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion. They originated in
Lewiston, Idaho winemaker: ‘An amazing place to grow and make wine’
The Washington Apple Commission has elected a slate of officers for the 2016-2017 season.
Dave Robison, a member of the Chelan Fruit Cooperative, will serve as chairman, Cass Gebbers, president and CEO of Gebbers Farms, vice chairman, according to a news release from the commission.
The commission’s board of directors made the
For the fifth year straight, the assessment charged to growers for the federal marketing order for processed pears will remain at $7 per ton.
The Processed Pear Committee board of directors unanimously agreed to the assessment rate Wednesday at the annual board meeting in Portland, Oregon.
The group also kept its current
Round 3 cherry harvest projection drops from two weeks ago
After record-setting heat in 2015, cherry growers look to new year.
Another Northwest cherry season is around the corner, and at this point, there is no reason not to expect another 20 million box crop of amazing sweet cherries!
Our cherry growing cohorts in California are reporting the best chilling hours and
The U.S. Apple Association has released a new, mobile-friendly website at usapple.org.
The website continues to address the organization’s position on key topics, ranging from food safety to agricultural labor reform, while increasing the appeal to consumers and the ease of use for USApple members, says Wendy Brannen, USApple’s Director of
The federal government has approved a new wine grape appellation in the Northwest: the Lewis-Clark Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA).
The appellation, which sits in a geographic region of northwestern Idaho known as the “banana belt,” encompasses some 479 square miles, with about 72 percent of the land in Idaho and
The California Specialty Crops Council will hold its 2016 MRL Harmonization Workshop June 1-2 in San Francisco.
The interactive seminar based on maximum residue levels (MRLs) will address critically important issues for stakeholders with interests in exporting agricultural products. Registrants, growers, packers, shippers, PCAs, regulators, trade experts, and other stakeholders in
The American Heart Association has certified Green and Red Anjou pears from USA Pears as heart-healthy.
The certification allows Pear Bureau Northwest to use the heart-check mark throughout online, print and other promotional activities for both varieties of pears.
“It is gratifying to see sweet, juicy Anjou pears recognized by the American
Fruit growers need look no further than the beverage aisle at their local convenience store for inspiration.
That’s according to Jeff Cleveringa, one of the speakers today (Wednesday) at the International Fruit Tree Association conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Consumers will not tire of new fruit varieties anytime soon, said Cleveringa of
Washington State University’s WA 2 apple will be marketed as Sunrise Magic, the university announced today.
This a re-launch of the apple, this time in partnership with Proprietary Variety Management. The goal is to give
a more effective push to the variety, using consumer research and other techniques. The variety is a cross
Pear Bureau Northwest has launched a redesigned trade website focused on the business of pears to grow pear sales.
Visitors to www.trade.usapears.org will find information about pear varieties and availability, marketing trends and research, and promotion and merchandising materials.
The site is also home to the new USA Pears University, which offers
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — Tree fruit growers from all over the world have converged on Grand here for the International Fruit Tree Conference.
A total of 291 people attended the first activity Saturday, a day-long pre-conference intensive workshop called “Growing the Moneymakers: Fuji, Gala and Honeycrisp.”
Growers, nursery managers and marketers stressed
It’s a new era for viticulture and enology research in Washington.
Washington’s wine industry has started the process of building a world-class research program.
The industry has invested in a new wine science facility, developed a strategic plan and recently hired me, the Washington Wine Commission’s first-ever research program manager.
The state’s growers
The 73rd annual Cherry Institute begins January 15 at the Yakima Convention Center with an update on the Cherry Breeding Program at Washington State University by Dena Ybarra of Perleberg Orchards.
Other presentations that day include: Observations on the Newest Cherry Breeding Materials by Dr. Ines Hanrahan of the Washington Tree
More than 80 wine regulators and wine industry representatives from 17 Pacific Rim economies met in Adelaide, Australia, to work toward streamlining import-export requirements for wine.
The two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Wine Regulatory Forum’s 2015 technical meeting focused on eliminating duplicative regulations to reduce the costs of cross-border wine trade,
Nominations for grower and handler positions on the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee will take place during industry meetings in January. The committee establishes grade, size, and pack regulations for fresh sweet cherries from designated counties in Washington.
Nominations for District 2 will take place during the Cherry Institute meeting at the
The New York Times gives a detailed account of competition among new varieties to dominate the $3 billion apple industry.
Readers of Good Fruit Grower are familiar with emerging varieties, such as Cosmic Crisp, that seek to dominate the next generation of apples but it’s interesting to see how the New
Pear Bureau Northwest, the non-profit marketing organization that represents the 1,600 pear growers of Oregon and Washington (home to 84 percent of the U.S. fresh pear crop), announced that that Lynsey Kennedy, the organization’s international marketing manager, has been recognized as one of the produce industry’s top young leaders.
Leading e-commerce retailer Alibaba Group featured Washington apples at the kickoff for its online shopping frenzy in China in November.
Washington apples were the only imported fresh fruit showcased to kickoff Alibaba’s T-Mall 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, which is held on the November 11 Black Friday-like shopping event known as “Singles
It’s been a decade since the Washington Apple Commission ended its domestic promotion program, after working for more than 60 years to establish Washington apples as “the world’s finest.”
Even without the promotions, apple growers enjoyed a run of profitable years, until the dismal 2014–2015 marketing season.
Last fall, Washington growers harvested
The Honeycrisp apple is a Cinderella story. A somewhat homely apple, almost rejected from its own breeding program, is given a chance and is discovered by an adoring public and propelled on a rise to a height of success still not fully realized.
The rags-to-riches story verifies the clichés: Beauty is
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will soon introduce a rule exempting organic growers from paying mandatory promotion assessments to federal marketing orders.
This will mean, for example, that organic pears will no longer be subject to an assessment of 38.5 cents a box to fund promotions by the Pear Bureau Northwest.
In the two years since Tim Ramsey’s hiring as president and chief executive, Oregon Cherry Growers has developed several new value-added products, returned profits to grower-members, and expanded growth in dried and frozen products.
Ramsey, with more than 30 years in the food and beverage industry, learned about produce and value-added
For many years, Montana sweet cherries were marketed as the tail end of the Washington State crop, not having much of an identity of their own. But more recently, growers in Montana have worked to project a better image of what they think are better cherries and to get a better price for them.
Okanagan Specialty Fruits plans to submit more GMO apple varieties for deregulation within the year.
A few years ago, Todd Fryhover of the Washington State Apple Commission was invited to speak at the Premier Apple Co-Op meeting in New York to talk about “China.”
As I introduced him to the group of apple growers and marketers from basically the entire eastern apple growing states including Michigan,
● USDA announced last Friday its deregulation of a Canadian firm’s–Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc.–two varieties (Granny Smith and Golden) of GMO apples, one day in advance of a three-day weekend. This is not unusual timing for controversial announcements by federal agencies. It almost guarantees a muted response in the media.
The 2014 season was not only a record year for Northwest cherries, it was one of the best years for Northwest cherry exports, especially to South Korea, which almost doubled imports from 2012.
“Last year was one of our biggest export years ever,” said Keith Hu, foreign marketing director for Northwest
Though China’s lack of cold-chain facilities and logistics for perishable products has been its Achilles heel, improvements are expected within the next five years, says Keith Hu, Northwest Cherry Growers representative.
China is recognized as one of the hottest markets in the world due to its large population and potential for
Steve Tennes, who operates the Country Mill orchard and farm market at Charlotte, Michigan, became convinced several years ago that there was a future in organic fruit production. Today, some of his customers will come a hundred miles or more from Detroit and Chicago specially to buy his organic apples.
The nation’s tree fruit organizations fared well in 2015 funding allocations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program. Ten organizations representing tree fruit will receive more than $16 million of the $173 million allocated to help expand export markets.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the MAP funding allocations for
A new organization called Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited has been formed to replace Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and undertake research and development and marketing efforts to support Australia’s $9.5 billion horticulture industry.
The move follows a recent independent report into the performance of HAL that recommended a change to a new
A new organization called Prosser Wine Network was formed in Washington State last spring to promote Prosser wines. The new group, with more than 30 initial winery and associate members, is working to create awareness of wines from Prosser by providing networking events, advocating on behalf of members, coordinating media
With a record crop of Washington apples, estimated at 140 million boxes or more, Todd Fryhover is hoping to see a significant boost in exports this season.
Last year, when the industry produced 118 million boxes, 37 million went to export markets.
Fryhover, who is president of the Washington Apple Commission, says
Northwest Cherry Growers and two Chinese online retailers, Fruitday and Tmall, have received Asia Fruit Logistica’s Marketing Campaign of the Year Award for their joint promotion of Northwest cherries last season.
Consumers ordered cherries via Tmall’s online platform and received them within 48 to 72 hours. Around 200 tons of cherries
Two long-established tree fruit organizations closed their doors on August 29 as they merged into the new Washington State Tree Fruit Association.
Neither the Washington Growers Clearing House Association nor the Wenatchee Valley Traffic Association will have staff working with the new association.
The staff at the other two organizations, Yakima Valley
The Michigan Processing Apple Growers marketing committee has negotiated minimum apple prices with six apple processors.
The prices are $12.50 a hundredweight for hard varieties 2 ½ inches and up, and $10 for soft varieties of that size. No price was negotiated for juice or undersize apples.
Six processors are in agreement
Nearly 80 years after its inception, the California Grape and Tree Fruit League announced they are changing their name to the California Fresh Fruit Association to better reflect the growing diversity of fruit its members grow.
The new name was proposed as part of a five-year planning mission to better align
Washington State orchardists expect to harvest 140 million boxes of apples this fall, almost 10 percent more than ever before and 20 percent more than last season.
But the record crop did not take the industry by surprise, says Dan Kelly, assistant manager at the Washington Growers Clearing House Association. Packers
The Yakima Herald-Republic’s Ross Courtney visited Sea-Tac airport to watch cherries from the Yakima and Wenatchee areas get loaded for fast delivery aboard a China Eastern Airlines 777 cargo plane.
Cherries sure mean a lot of work at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, just like they do in the Yakima Valley.
June saw some huge shipments of cherries, averaging 332,000 boxes per day, according to the Northwest Cherry Growers.
What was expected to be the second biggest cherry crop ever has triggered enormous movement to the marketplace. June’s total came in at 10.3 million boxes.
Domestic retailers have stepped up promotions through in-store
Northwest cherry growers gained airlift capacity into China with the launch today of weekly service between Seattle and Shanghai on China Eastern Airlines. The new service serving Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will carry more than 400 metric tons of cherries to China from Northwest shippers.
In addition, China Eastern runs an e-commerce
Tart cherry producers and processors voted in March to continue the federal marketing order that regulates the marketing of their crop.
The results, just announced, were very favorable to the order, both in the positive votes and the high participation of both growers and processors.
A total of 293 producers and 33
Washington State University will hold a random drawing to decide who will be able to plant WA 38, the latest variety from the university’s apple breeding program, during the first two years trees become available.
Washington nurseries are producing trees of WA 38 and a small number will be available for
E.W. Brandt and Sons, a fruit growing, packing, and marketing operation in Wapato, Washington, is expanding its operations and is using RemBrandt Masterpiece fruit as its brand.
The moves reflect the company’s intensified focus on growing and packing after divesting its nursery division last year. Brandt’s Fruit Trees, formerly a division
Washington’s fresh cherry packers will continue to be allowed to ship 12-row red cherries, members of the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee decided at their meeting in early December.
The committee commissioned economist Dr. Desmond O’Rourke to study the financial impact on the industry of shipping 12-row cherries, the smallest size packed.
Four Washington tree fruit industry organizations will consolidate next summer, and the question now is how best to do it, Robert Kershaw told members of the Washington State Horticultural Association at their annual meeting.
“People keep asking me what are the odds of this coming together,” he said. “It’s a hundred
Steve Chinchiolo of River Bend Orchards in Ripon, California, has sold fruit through farmers’ markets since the late 1980s. While the direct marketing represents only a small portion of his total crop sales, the markets connect him with consumers and marketing trends.
Today, they sell both organic and conventional fruit weekly
Early Pink Lady
An early maturing selection of Pink Lady (cultivar Cripps Pink) is available from Brandt’s Fruit Trees in Yakima, Washington.
The selection matures up to three weeks earlier than the standard Pink Lady. Another distinction is that while standard Cripps Pink sometimes needs to be stored for a time to
Third-generation wine grape grower Randy Tucker has made wine in Washington’s Yakima Valley for 30 years. Through the decades, he’s changed business plans at Tucker Cellars to fine-tune the winery’s market niche, but he’s now facing one of the biggest changes as he approaches retirement.
Randy’s grandparents Melvin and Vera Tucker
If you’re a person who doesn’t like tattoos and body piercings, looks suspiciously at people with dark skin, doesn’t like to hear people speaking languages other than English, and hates people who text message while in conversation with you, you’re in for a troubled future.
“Get over it.”
That’s the advice of
The 2012 U.S. apple crop holds some lessons for apple marketers, lessons that are not “intuitive.” For example, consumers will buy apples even at high prices.
Steve Lutz, executive vice president of the Nielsen Perishables Group, is an analyst who tries to understand people from what they do while shopping in
We understand your risks and challenges. Mast said marketers understand the huge risks that growers take when planting orchards. Increasing production costs and retailers’ food safety requirements are just adding to the challenges.
“We want to make sure that small family farmers stay in existence,” he said. “If there are too
Many growers whose orchards are in or near urbanized or suburbanized landscapes grab the opportunity to sell their fruit directly to consumers. They do so either from markets they operate at the farm or at the growing number of farmers’ markets that dot cities and small towns.
In the northeastern United
Randi Harnden will join the Washington Apple Commission as export coordinator starting October 7.
Her appointment is part of a staff realignment following the departure two months ago of Chris Scott, the commission’s export trade specialist. Danelle Trovato, export assistant, was promoted to his position, and Harnden takes Trovato’s place.
Pears are a relatively small item in the fresh produce department, but they are still important to retailers. Pears make up 1.2 percent of fresh produce sales, compared with berries at 9.7 percent, apples at 8.5 percent, and grapes at 7.5 percent.
But that’s accounting for 1.2 percent of fresh produce
Although most pears are grown in traditional orchards, the same way they’ve been grown for many decades, there’s not a great momentum for change. Ray Schmitten, a pear grower in Cashmere, Washington, says that innovation in the orchard is less critical than finding ways to ensure that consumers have a
At field days across Michigan this summer, fruit industry leaders bearing clipboards have been seeking grower signatures asking for creation of a Michigan Tree Fruit Commission.
The idea came up in June and has been on a fast track since.
Phil Korson, executive director of the Cherry Marketing Institute, said the goal
The Northwest Cider Association is planning its third annual Washington Cider Week, a ten-day celebration of craft hard cider beginning September 5 in Seattle.
Fourteen Washington cideries will participate in the event, which features more than 75 activities or special menu items at Seattle area restaurants. The publication Edible Seattle is
Washington State apple producers expect to harvest 120 million packed boxes of apples this fall, according to the industry’s August forecast, the first official tally of the season.
That’s a drop of 9 million boxes from last year. However, Michigan and New York production has rebounded from 2012 when cold spring
Proprietary Variety Management, a new company helping to commercialize two new red-fleshed apple varieties developed by Bill Howell of Prosser, Washington, is using a different strategy from how varieties have been introduced in the past.
The company’s general manager John Reeves said the value chain starts with the breeder, goes through
Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, says the industry needs to increase demand.
The Washington Apple Commission is strengthening its export program in anticipation of larger volumes of apples coming onto the U.S. market in the next few years and wants shippers to support its efforts by using
China could become a significant market for U.S. pears. Louis Ng, who represents the Pear Bureau Northwest in China, believes China could be importing 500,000 to 600,000 boxes of pears annually within the next five to ten years. That would make China the second-largest pear export market after Mexico.
The Bing cherry, long the king of the Northwest industry, is losing ground to the newer Canadian varieties.
In the 2000 season, Bing represented almost 75 percent of the Northwest cherry crop. By 2012, cherries sold as Bing represented only 22 percent of the crop. Meanwhile, varieties from British Columbia now
Courtesy of Wescott Agri Products
Two new apple varieties, Pazazz and RiverBelle, are growing in some apple orchards and coming to market through a new development process.
The apples are being commercialized by Apple Varietal Development LLC, a company organized by Fred Wescott, owner of Wescott Orchards and Agri Products in Elgin,
Orondo Ruby is a yellow-fleshed cherry that has more blush and matures earlier than Rainier.
PHOTO COURTESY OF G&C ORCHARDS
Cherry production in north central Washington State is growing at such a pace that Chelan Fruit Cooperative is planning to build a new cherry line for next season.
Reggie Collins, chief executive officer,
A lack of funding has forced the Food Alliance to suspend its operations, though its licensed producers will be able to use the eco-label through the end of the year.
The Food Alliance, based in Portland, Oregon, established its sustainable food certification program in 1997 with the goal of helping growers
The short fruit crop in the eastern United States last year had a dramatic impact on research and promotion programs organized under state and federal market orders. These programs are funded by checkoffs collected on a per-pound basis, so income plummeted with the reduced crop size.
In Michigan, where the Michigan
The commercialization plan for WA 38 will be different than for its first release, WA 2.
Washington State University is finalizing a plan for how its second apple variety, WA 38, will be commercialized.
The university will send out an “announcement of opportunity” (similar to a request for proposals) inviting applications for
Bob Meyer, an apple grower in Toppenish, Washington, is one of the first in the state to produce Washington State University’s first apple release, WA 2. Meyer, who already grows Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious, wanted to get to market early with a new variety. “I
In the worldwide winemaking community, Washington State’s wine industry is the 187-year-old new kid on the block.
Although our state’s first wine grapes were planted in 1825, we’re still considered a teenager in the global marketplace. Our superior wines consistently outperform other top wine-producing regions throughout the globe, yet many
The Organic Trade Association is holding town-hall forums across the country to gather industry thoughts about the association’s proposal to establish a federal organic research and promotion order.
One such forum will be held during the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting in Yakima at the end of the afternoon organics
The blueberry industry has had a growth curve that growers would love to see for any fruit.
From a relatively minor industry producing about 100 million pounds of fruit annually a generation ago, production reached 887 million pounds in 2010, according to John Shelford, a long-time blueberry industry observer, analyst, and
Courtesy of Rich MacDonald (AAFC)
A new apple variety from British Columbia, Canada, called Salish was launched in the marketplace this fall under a new brand called “Born in BC, Raised in the Okanagan.”
Salish (formerly known as SPA493) originated from a cross of Splendour and Gala made in 1981 at Agriculture
The Pear Bureau Northwest has promoted Bob Koehler to lead regional marketing manager. In this new position, he will serve as the liaison between Kevin Moffitt, Pear Bureau president, and the regional managers in territories throughout the United States and Canada. He will lead the development of fresh pear marketing
A new apple will debut in September (weather permitting), one that the breeder and marketer hope will become a signature apple of the upper Mississippi River Valley growing region.
The marketer is Fred Wescott, Elgin, Minnesota, owner of Wescott Orchards and Wescott Agri-Products, who packs and distributes apples to retailers in
A new marketing and research group has consolidated the California cherry industry into one voice, says Chiles Wilson, chair of the new organization that became effective in early April.
The California Cherry Marketing and Research Program supersedes the California Cherry Advisory Board, which had represented growers of Bing, Rainier, Van, and
Greg Powers knows viticulture and enology from the ground up and was manager for the family estate vineyard before taking on winemaker duties.
Greg Powers, winemaker for Washington State’s largest organic winery, didn’t initially make organic wines for Badger Mountain Vineyard winery, even though the grapes were from his family’s
New, healthy products include dried cherries and tart cherry juice.
If you hear the words, “tart cherries,” and a nice oozy red, lattice-topped cherry pie springs to your mind, you’re going to really disappoint some people. The tart cherry industry has spent five years, and nearly $2 million a year, trying
WSU engineers are developing a vibrating actuator that will be used with a mechanical harvester to shake limbs and remove fruit without damaging the trees.
A four-year research project that aims to make sweet cherry production more efficient, profitable, and sustainable marked the halfway point with an informational meeting and tour
While Harold Copple managed the Apple Commision between 1947 and 1957, most of the apples produced in Washington were Winesap. During that period, the commission hired a larger, year-round merchandising staff of up to 12 people to work with retailers across the country.
Formation of a Washington apple promotion program 75
Of all the attributes consumers are looking for today in their food—freshness, organic, local, and sustainable—flavor and quality are still paramount. Growers, shippers, and marketers involved in delivering fruits to consumers should focus on flavor and quality before they do anything else, suggests a consumer culture consultant.
“Despite the economic concerns
Kirpal Boparai, president of the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association, says his priority is to get money into growers’ pockets.
British Columbia, Canada, apple growers took an initial step towards establishing a national apple and promotion agency, and potential future regulated marketing, at the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association’s annual convention in
Michigan tart cherry growers will cast mail-in ballots between March 12 and March 25 to determine whether the Michigan Cherry Committee, which is organized under Michigan law to operate a checkoff program and conduct research and promotion, will continue to operate for another five years.
The Michigan Cherry Committee is supported
Last year, Three Springs Fruit Farm, operated by Dave, John, and Ben Wenk in Aspers, Pennsylvania, was certified by Food Alliance. An Oregon-based organization, Food Alliance provides third-party certification that sustainable agricultural and food handling practices are used in a farm’s operation. Since
Despite a bleak economic picture for many Americans, it’s a good time for Washington State wines. Grocery story data collected both nationally and within the state show consistent growth in the wine category for the last two years, according to marketing and category management specialists.
Since 2008, the United States has
Dissolution of the California Tree Fruit Agreement created opportunity for Washington State stone fruit, says Ingrid Mohn, FAS market development specialist. About $250,000 was redirected to a new market access program for Washington’s stone fruit.
With federal budget cuts looming, the future is murky for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s market
Washington State sweet cherry growers voted to continue the federal marketing order that regulates sweet cherries. During the referendum held in November, 92 percent of eligible growers who voted, representing 82 percent of the participating volume, favored continuing the marketing order that was established in 1957. A referendum is required
In spite of the 70 breeding programs around the world developing new tree fruit cultivars, most new varieties are disappointments and don’t succeed, says a European researcher. Growers, packers, and marketers have responded well to improved clones of established varieties like Gala and Golden Delicious apples, but the industry has
As the Washington State apple crop shifts in terms of varieties and volumes, the Washington Apple Commission must match its export efforts to what is happening in the industry, says Todd Fryhover, commission president.
The big upsurge in Honeycrisp, which is selling at high prices on the domestic market, will likely
Nominations for board positions with several Pacific Northwest fruit industry groups will be held during upcoming horticultural meetings.
Cherry Marketing Committee
Nominations for three grower positions in District 1 will be held during the North Central Washington Stone Fruit Day at the Wenatchee Convention Center on January 19. Current members are: Dave
Comice is the perfect pear for gift boxes, but the gift business has declined.
Courtesy Pear Bureau Northwest
Comice is sometimes referred to as the Queen of Pears, because of its superlative eating quality. “It probably has the best flavor of the whole gamut of pears,” is the assessment of Ron Meyer,
During the Pear Bureau Northwest’s annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, last summer, its regional managers proposed ideas on how to strengthen demand for Comice pears.
Tim Corkill, regional manager for the West and Southwest, suggested that the variety needs to be reintroduced to the market with small, one-layer packages, similar to