Lyndonville, N.Y.-based United Apples Sales opened a West Coast division based in Yakima, Wash., and hired Frank Davis as vice president of national business development.
The expansion will help cover the company’s growing national account customer base, the need for year-round supply assurance and expansion of other commodities such as pears, cherries and stone fruit, owner and CEO Ward Dobbins said in a news release.
“Frank has over 20 years of vast experience covering everything from large national retailers to grower to senior sales management with some of Washington’s largest packers. We are looking forward to his passion for this industry and working with Josh to expand our domestic and import opportunities,” Dobbins said in the release.
The company’s Washington presence began in 2016, with the hiring of Josh Tunstall as vice president of Northwest sales, he said.
Davis is in his second year of a three-year term as board member of Washington Apple Commission and is a past chairman of the group. Most recently, he was with Yakima-based Washington Fruit and Produce Co. as vice president of sales.
Before that, he worked for Domex Superfresh Growers, Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers and Borton & Sons Inc. He has also been a board member of the U.S. Apple Association.
As far as the apple crop, the blooms in late spring and drop in early summer indicate a strong start to the coming apple season on both coasts, despite a late winter in Washington and a wet spring in New York, according to the release.
The wet spring caused an initial delay in field operations and targeted dates for planting new trees, but everything else is right on schedule, western New York procurement manager Justin Whipple said in the release.
“We anticipate very good fruit size on virtually all varieties this fall from western New York,” Whipple said.
In the upper Northwest, Davis said the crop may be a little behind harvest start dates from 2018, but summer temperatures will provide more accurate assessments.
“We expect a rather large crop coming off the smaller volume from last season,” Davis said in the release.
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