Business Updates: Eastern Apples - The Packer

Business Updates: Eastern Apples

08/31/2010 12:08:00 PM
Jim Offner

Hudson River Fruit updates technology

Hudson River Fruit Distributors, Milton, N.Y., has upgraded its storage facility.

“We have refitted our room to control temperature by computer,” said Pat Ferrara, salesman. You can tell the state, what they went in at, what they are, what they were, and it’s all printed out.

The room is 60,000 square feet, he said, “but we have quite a bit of (additional) storage.”

Keystone Fruit expands Virginia program

Keystone Fruit Marketing Inc., based in Greencastle, Pa., is intensifying its apple-growing efforts in Virginia, said Kurt Schweitzer, president.

“We’ll have increased volumes coming out of our orchards in Virginia,” he said.

“The regional influence of all commodities and with Virginia, there’s, of course, interest in the Virginia markets. We’ve been planting new varieties and some of our established varieties, like galas.”

Virginia is one of the company’s larger growth segments, Schweitzer said.

“It’s going to be double-digit growth in terms of activity,” he said.

“We’re expanding our reach in Virginia, and growers have come to us to work with us on our marketing plans to go direct to the retailers in Virginia and the Southeast markets.”

New York apples pair up with seasoning group

The Fishers-based New York Apple Association is partnering with snack and fruit seasoning company Tajin, based in Mexico, said Jim Allen, president of the Fishers-based New York Apple Association.”

“They do a lot in Texas and the Southwest,” Allen said. “They have a product that’s very popular within the Spanish market.”

The product is a spicy condiment that is served on sliced apples, Allen said.

Pennsylvania increases website resources

The Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program has upgraded its website, said Karin Rodriguez, executive director.

“We’ll be adding to it as we go along, but it’s up and live now and has a lot of information. There are a lot of enhancements.”

Most notable among the updates is a searchable database of farm markets and pick-your-own programs across Pennsylvania, she said.

“It will be customizable for location or variety,” she said.

“We hope to be able to match that person to the grower and variety of apple.

“We grow a large number of varieties, so a lot of times, people are looking for a particular variety and they’re trying to find out who grows it. I don’t know every single grower and every single variety (off) the top of my head, but this site captures all that information, and we can match up customers and growers.”

Rice Fruit expands storage capabilities

Gardners, Pa.-based Rice Fruit Co. has built a controlled-atmosphere room, said John Rice, president.

The 175-bushel room is part of an expansion program that has been going on for a couple of years, Rice said.

“It’s an addition onto a building we built two or three years ago that contributed another 200,000 to our capacity,” he said.

“We built eight rooms two years ago and five rooms this year. We have a total of 31 CA rooms now.”



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