(Sept. 5) YAKIMA, Wash. — C.M. Holtzinger Fruit Co. Inc. and CF Fresh, Sedro Woolley, have joined to market certified organic apples and pears.

The marketing agreement will pair the two companies in an effort to increase volumes.

CF Fresh shipped about 1 million boxes of organic produce last year, while C.M. Holtzinger shipped about 200,000 boxes. C.M. Holtzinger’s total volume in 2002 was about 6 million boxes, which included conventional apples, pears and cherries.

The companies will be shooting for a growth rate of about 30% per year, said Roger Wechsler, CF Fresh president.

Wechsler said CF Fresh has strong ties in the United Kingdom. Through the alliance, he said, CF Fresh would now be able to focus more of its efforts on European markets, but the company will still be shipping to all states in the continental U.S.

Holtzinger said his company’s efforts would include more domestic marketing.

In the future, he said the alliance might market fruit to Canada and Mexico.

The alliance began when the apple and pear harvest started about mid-August. Holtzinger said the companies would possibly enter the cherry deal next June.

CF Fresh purchased the assets of Oregon Organic Marketing, Eugene, on March 28.

Holtzinger and Wechsler said this purchase and the alliance would mean three formerly competing companies are now cooperating as one.

C.M. Holtzinger is the exclusive sales agent for Strand Apples Inc., Cowiche, and Cowin & Sons LLC, Wapato.

The company also recently announced a partnership with Minneapolis-based The Sholl Group II, in which Green Giant Fresh labels will be used in marketing apples, pears and cherries.

Holtzinger said the Green Giant deal would be unrelated to the alliance with CF Fresh.