Wenatchee, Wash.-based CMI Orchards LLC has added more than 4 million boxes of apples, pears and cherries to its yearly volume through strategic partnerships with Yakima Fruit, as well as with Pine Canyon Growers, “in addition to significant internal growth,” the company reported Aug. 11.
The deal began in 2018, when CMI Orchards added Pine Canyon Growers as a grower, packer and shipper, CMI president Bob Mast said in a news release. “This addition greatly strengthened our manifest and our progress has enabled us to team up with another great partner in Yakima Fruit,” he said.
Yakima Fruit, formerly connected to Yakima Fresh, “has a highly desirable manifest that greatly bolsters our offerings,” including early Honeycrisp and high-colored genetic strains of Honeycrisp, Gala and Fuji, plus “considerable” Cosmic Crisp volume, Mast said.
As a result of recent growth, CMI reported increased in core, organic and branded offerings, including Granny Smith, up by 89% increase; Gala, 44%; Pink Lady, 92%; Fuji, 62%; Honeycrisp, 62%; and organic Honeycrisp, 47%.
CMI also said it will bring the first Washington-grown EverCrisp to market and will launch the first harvest of organic EverCrisp nationwide this year.
Mast said that, in addition to “high production orchards,” the Yakima Fruit partnership “brings an opportunity to strategize on future plantings with available unplanted acreage to best meet the needs of CMI’s retailer and consumer preferences for both apples and cherries,” according to the release.