Organic apple production up 30% in Washington


There’s no slowing the growth of Washington’s organic apple category. Organic apple production in the state is expected to increase 30% over last year, according to the Organic Produce Network. And that should open up ample promotion opportunities.

As of the end of 2017, there were about 22,116 certified organic acres, according to a study by Washington State University. That number could reach 25,600 to 26,600 certified acres in 2018. Most organic grower-shippers in Washington anticipate significant increases in volume this season.

Wenatchee-based CMI Orchards LLC, which markets the Daisy Girl Organics label, has organic versions of all the major varieties and has added some club varieties, like Ambrosia, Kanzi and Kiku, said Loren Foss, organic manager. “We’ll have some significant volume increases, especially on the organic Ambrosia this year,” he said. This will be the company’s first season with organic Envy and Smitten apples. Organic volume should be up 67% from last year, the company said, as a result of acreage transitioning to organic and the addition of new growers. Like Sinks, Foss said the premium price for organics is shrinking. “There will still be a premium on organic,” he said, “but it will narrow significantly this year.”

Article by Tom Burfield

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