NEW ORLEANS — Randy Steensma, general manager of Honey Bear Tree Fruit Company, Wenatchee, Wash., said recently harvested Smitten apples have been enthusiastically received by retailers.

With CMI Orchards, Wenatchee, Wash., as a co-marketer, only about a month — through late November — of Smitten availability is expected, he said at Fresh Summit. 

Belle Harvest of Michigan and Lake Ontario Fruit Co. are planting Smitten and will be added as co-marketers when they have volume in future years, Steensma said. 

This year’s Smitten production is about 170,000 cartons, with 250,000 to 300,000 cartons expected next year.

For retailers who also are supportive of breast cancer research and awareness, Smitten marketers will give $2.80 per box of fruit sold to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Steensma said. 

“We believe in the cause,” he said, “and it aligns with our season so we thought it was a win-win.”