Tell it to The Packer | Letter to the Editor

Jim Allen
New York Apple Association Inc.
Fishers, N.Y.

Hats off to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for listening to requests from the apple industry and announcing a USDA apple purchase with Section 32 funds that are used to make bonus buys of fresh and processed food products.

This bonus buy is above and beyond regular purchases of fruits and vegetables ($400 million) that are mandated in the farm bill.

Special thanks to the U.S. Apple Association for delivering this message to Washington and to Bob Keeney at the Agricultural Marketing Service, who worked hard to get this request to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s desk in time to impact this year’s crop.

Fresh whole apples and processed apple bids will soon go out to the trade.

In addition to the $18.6 million just announced, we anticipate that AMS will also be putting out a request for proposals for fresh sliced apples for the expanded Fresh Sliced Apple Pilot program that is now in 11 states, up from five states last year. Apple purchases by the USDA are a win-win for the industry and for school children across the country.