Wenatchee, Wash.-based Stemilt Growers and its Pasco, Wash.-based partner Douglas Fruit expect organic apricot harvest to begin in late June.

The season is projected to start about two weeks later than normal, with promotable volumes coming available in July, according to a news release.

Stemilt accounts for about 40% of Washington’s apricot production, and 60% of the company’s crop is organic. Robada is the leading apricot variety for Stemilt.

“Robada has grown to be a consumer favorite and for good reason,” Roger Pepperl, marketing director at Stemilt, said in the release. “With its orange skin and deep red blush, it is very appealing on produce shelves. Beyond its appearance, it’s by far the best cot for snacking with an explosion of flavor.”

Packaging options for the company’s Artisan Organics apricots include clamshells, random-weight pouch bags, volume fill and panta packs.

In the release, Pepperl encourages merchandising the items in the organic section but notes they also do well on end caps and aisle displays.

Pepperl also recommends retailers share the story of Douglas Fruit, a fourth-generation grower, with consumers.

“Highlighting the Douglas family’s heritage and passion is a great way to focus your program as flavor-driven,” Pepperl said in the release. “And being flavor-driven is the way to win over consumers, especially around seasonal items like our Artisan Organics apricots.”