Washington Apple: business updates

09/09/2013 09:55:00 AM
Tom Karst

Queen said a new packing line for Domex Superfresh can pack up to 70 bins of apples per hour, depending on variety. Each bin contains up to 24 cartons of fruit, depending on variety.

Honey Bear Tree Fruit offers Smitten apple

Wenatchee, Wash.-based Honey Bear Tree Fruit expects to market about 1.6 million cartons of apples this year, said Randy Steensma, president.

The firm expects to harvest about 40% more Honeycrisp than the 2012 season, when the firm packed 200,000 boxes of the variety. Steensma said Honeycrisp could eventually top the volume of galas in Washington.

Honey Bear plans to offer the proprietary Smitten variety out of New Zealand this year.

“It’s a totally new variety, with similar appearance to gala but with flavor profiles that are outstanding,” Steensma said. “It’s phenomenal.”

Oneonta Starr Ranch develops Wal-Mart Mexico promo

Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers expects to pack about 10 million cartons of apples, said Scott Marboe, director of marketing for the Wenatchee, Wash. company.

Oneonta is developing a Spanish version of the “Eat and Play the Healthy Way” promotion for Wal-Mart Mexico, he said.

The company is offering a 3-pound gusseted pouch bag for apples this year.

Oneonta packer Columbia Reach Pack has undergone a huge overhaul, with a new packing facility and storage operational by November. The firm’s facility at Quincy has also been updated, with packing and loading updates. All four of Oneonta’s four main warehouses have seen substantial increases in controlled-atmosphere storage, Marboe said.

Rainier Fruit to produce more organic

Volume of conventional apple will be off slightly for Rainier Fruit, but output of organic output will increase, said Suzanne Wolter, director of marketing for the Selah, Wash. company.

Rainier Fruit has new mesh bagging machines that will feature a full wrap-around graphics for Lady Alice and Jumani variety apples, allowing more for communication with consumers about the variety, Wolter said.

Sage Fruit sticks with NASCAR, Biggest Loser

Sage Fruit Co. expects to market up to 8 million cartons of apples, said Steve Reisenauer, sales manager for the Yakima, Wash. company.



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