Washington Apples 2018 business updates
CMI offers generic organic bin
CMI Orchards, Wenatchee, Wash., is offering retailers a new Ship ‘n’ Shop display bin for private label organic apples, said George Harter, vice president of marketing.
The generic bin is simply labeled “Organic,” he said, and provides retailers with a way to merchandise their own organic apples.
“It’s a great piece,” he said. “It ships with 16 cases of fruit.”
It’s easy to build a pallet-size display with it, he added.
The bin was introduced at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit last fall as a Daisy Girl Organics merchandising tool but has been reintroduced as a generic bin, he said.
Face-lift planned for Domex bags
Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wash., is giving its Autumn Glory apple pouch bags a face-lift for the 2018 crop, said Catherine Gipe-Stewart, communications manager.
Both organic and conventional bags will have new artwork that will be unveiled at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in Orlando, in time for the 2018 Autumn Glory season, which starts late October, she said.
The company gave its website a new look last fall and it continues to be a success, she said.
“Live video throughout the website and our new look illustrates our forward-thinking, progressive company and invites younger generations to engage with us online,” she said.
Rainier automates pouch bag packing
Rainier Fruit Co., Selah, Wash., has added some new, automated packaging equipment for pouch bags to its packing line, said Andy Tudor, vice president of business development.
“It’s a pretty big capital expenditure,” he said.
The new equipment enables pouch bags to be packed automatically on a packing line. In the past, they had to be packed by hand, he said.
The new technology went on line in late August, he said, and should increase the company’s packing capabilities and add efficiencies.
Sage Fruit adds defect sorting tech
All of the warehouse facilities operated by Sage Fruit Co. LLC, Yakima, Wash., are now equipped with the latest technology, including the ability to check for internal browning in apples, said Chuck Sinks, president of sales and marketing.
With the recent addition of Vanguard Pride Packing Co. as well expansion of its own orchards, the firm’s apple volume will increase 15% over last year, he said.
Organic production will be up 20%, he said.
Washington Fruit big on organics
Washington Fruit and Produce Co., Yakima, Wash., is committed to organics, said Frank Davis, vice president of sales.
The company launched a small organic program last year and will have a full complement of organics this year, he said.
“We’ve got a very nice mix and a really good crop to work with,” he said.
The nearly year-round program was launched in response to demand from consumers and customers and will focus on fuji, gala, granny smith and Honeycrisp varieties, he said.
Product will be available in bulk and in pouch bags.