Logos ( Courtesy Belleharvest/Michigan Fresh )

Belding, Mich.-based BelleHarvest and Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Michigan Fresh Marketing are preparing for the 2019-20 apple harvest with a new partnership, new packaging and technology investments.

Through a new partnership with AppleQuest orchards, an additional 14,000 Honeycrisp bushels were secured, according to a news release.

“Having this additional volume allows us to meet our customer’s needs, while also extending the Midwest season with retailers,” Joe D’Ottavio, CEO of Michigan Fresh, said in the release.

The group is also set to have a new BelleHarvest brand three-pound polymer bag featuring Honeycrisp, fuji and gala apples, according to the release. Each bag is distinguished by color and will be available for shipping this fall.

A new optical sorting platform was purchased for one of the alliance’s packing facilities, according to the release. The new Compac machine is equipped with technology to assure high-quality grading and reduce food waste.  

“It’s imperative that we deliver an apple that not only looks exceptional on the outside but delivers reliable taste and quality to the consumer on the inside,” Milt Fuehrer, CEO of BelleHarvest, said in the release.

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Submitted by Russell Costanza on Wed, 09/11/2019 - 10:22

Great marketing investment for the Michigan Apple growing industry.
The next step is for DOL to adjust the Michigan H2A Adverse Effect Wage Rate so Michigan Apple growers can compete on a level marketing field with Canada’s much cheaper farm labor harvest rates. Rates that are $3.00 an hour less in Canada is a huge marketing advantage in our US markets!