Good Fruit Grower

May 1

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Export market access is critical Indonesia looked set to become a 3-million-box market for Washington apples, but new regulations have curtailed expectations. by Geraldine Warner Need for exports intensifies Assuming a 2013 Washington apple crop of 120 million boxes and domestic consumption of 73 million boxes, 47 million boxes will need to be exported—10 million more than have ever been exported before in one year. MILLIONS OF BOXES 140 — 73 million is average domestic 2003-2011 120 — 100 — 80 — 60 — 40 — 20 — 0— 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Projected Total Washington shipments SOURCE: Washington Apple Commission Washington domestic shipments s Washington looks to the export market to help move increasing volumes of apples, market access will be critical. "There's no question, if we don't have access, we can't be successful," Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, told board members at their annual meeting in March. Access to two significant markets for Washington apples is restricted this season. China is closed because of interceptions of apples affected by postharvest rots, and Indonesia has imposed new regulations and quotas on produce imports. Both these are issues that the Northwest Horticultural Council is working on. The council's staff works on national and international policy issues affecting growers and shippers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The Washington Apple Commission pays 40 percent of the council's budget, which will amount to $504,300 for the coming year, up from $447,988 for 2012-2013. Most of the increase will pay for an additional staff member, a science policy specialist who is being hired as other staff transition to retirement. The Washington Apple Commission also pays a significant portion of the U.S. Apple Association's budget. The payment for 2013-2014 will be more than $950,000. USApple represents the U.S. apple industry on national matters. Indonesia Washington apple shipments to Indonesia this season are down 50 percent from a year ago as a result of the new restrictions and quotas. Indonesia took 2.5 million boxes last season, and Mark Powers, vice president at the Northwest Horticultural Council, said the industry was hoping it would become a 3-million-box market. The restrictions affect other countries and other types of produce, but not U.S. cherries or pears. Powers said the situation appears to be linked to internal political issues and power struggles in the run-up to the 2014 presidential election, so it cannot be easily resolved at the trade level. "The reasons have nothing to do with the outside world," he said. Since diplomatic efforts have failed, the U.S. government is looking at litigation, a process that could take another year or year and a half. China The closure of the China market could also take time to resolve. The market was closed in August 2012, ostensibly because of two postharvest rots—sphaeropsis rot and speck rot—that have been detected in Red Delicious apples exported to China over the past few years. No apples have been shipped directly to China this season. The previous season, direct shipments to China totaled 413,000 boxes. Jim Archer, manager of Northwest Fruit Exporters, which works on trade issues relating to several specific countries including China, said Chinese quarantine officials came to Washington last December and visited five packing houses and six orchards to learn more about the diseases that had been detected. Symptoms were seen during the visit. After the inspector went back to China, the government there added more requirements to the export protocol, including an incubation period of 28 days for every grower lot, to wait for symptoms to appear before shipping. There were also additional requirements in the orchard, including pruning of dieback and collection of leaves from the orchard floor, as well as 6 May 1, 2013 GOOD FRUIT GROWER

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