Good Fruit Grower

October 2013

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SUPER! FANTASTIC! WONDERFUL! AWESOME! VALUABLE! …those are just a few of the words we use to describe our customers. We love what we do, and you make it possible! A special THANK YOU to all of our loyal customers who come back to us year after year. ProTree Nursery, LLC is dedicated to providing the best selection of apple and cherry trees, grafted on the heartiest rootstocks. If you're looking for a variety you can't find anywhere else, call ProTree Nursery, LLC today. APPLES (USPP 16,624 P2) • Granny Smith • Hilwell Braeburn • Rising Sun Fuji® • RubyJon® (USPP 7997) • Honeycrisp™ • RubyMac® (USPP 19,007 McLaughlin cv) • Indian Summer Crab • Schlect Spur Delicious™ • September Wonder™ • Joburn™ Braeburn Fuji (USPP 11,193) (USPP 11,992) • JonaStar JonaGold™ • Simpson Crab • Snowdrift Crab (USPP 20,590) • Torres Fuji™ • LindaMac® • Banning Red Fuji • Beni Shogun • Blondee™ • Brookfield® Gala (USPP 10,016) • Buckeye® Gala (USPP 10,840) • Chrisolyn® (USPP 7526) (USPP 7197) (USPP 12,900) • Manchurian Crab • Crimson Gold Crab • Midnight Red Spur™ • Dandee Red® (serial 74/458,730) (USPP 16,620) • Pacific Gala® • Frettingham Crab (USPP 9681) • Golden Delicious • Pearleaf Crab (USPP 21,300) (USPP 10,115) (USPP applied for) (USPP applied for) • Ultima™ Gala (USPP 13,753 P2) • Zestar!™ (USPP 11,367) These apple varieties are available on B-10, B-118, EMLA-7, EMLA-26, EMLA-106, EMLA-111, G-11, G-16, G-30, M-9 337T, NIC®-29, or Supporter 4. CHERRIES • Benton™ • Bing • Black Tart • BlackPearl® • Brooks™ • BurgundyPearl® • Chelan™ • Coral Champagne • Cristalina™ • EbonyPearl® • Lapins • RadiancePearl® • Rainier • Selah™ • Skeena™ • Sweetheart™ • Tulare™ • Vans Available on Colt, Gisela®, Krymsk®, Mahaleb, or Mazzard.* *Not all varieties are available on all rootstocks. Call for specific grafting information. Apples Marketing Top 5 things your marketer would tell you Bob Mast, chief executive officer at Columbia Marketing International in Wenatchee, Washington, discusses five things marketers would like growers to know. by Geraldine Warner 1 We understand your risks and challenges. Mast said marketers understand the huge risks that growers take when planting orchards. Increasing production costs and retailers' food safety requirements are just adding to the challenges. "We want to make sure that small family farmers stay in existence," he said. "If there are too many requirements, they aren't going to make it. We're trying to do a good job of educating the retailers on what it takes to get product from farm to fork." Mast said marketers like to bring retailers out to Washington State and tour them through orchards and packing houses to show them all the inputs and costs that go into getting product from the tree to the shelf. "It's beneficial when they can see all the nuances and the science that goes into getting a piece of fruit of the size range they want and the color they like. Once they realize all the inputs and all the costs that go into farming, they tend to be a little more u nderstanding when you're trying to hold your ground on f.o.b.s. (prices)." Marketers also try to discourage buyers from making demands that add to growers' food-safety audit fatigue. "We're really trying to work with the retailers and bring in some common sense, and temper the massive amount of requests that are coming at the growers," Mast said. "We fight the good fight for the growers." The market is only interested in flavor and crunch. A few years ago when Mast and his partners were planting an orchard, they debated the pros and cons of planting Honeycrisp versus Jonagold. They went with the latter because it's a grower-friendly variety that gets good packouts, making it less risky—in theory. "The thing we overlooked is what piqued the consumers' interest," Mast said, listing Jonagold, Braeburn, and Cameo as varieties that are becoming harder to sell. "They were absolutely beautiful apples, but it's a shrinking market." Consumers are recognizing that apples don't have to look beautiful and are willing to pay dearly for fruit that has good taste and texture. "You have heirloom tomatoes that don't look the best, but they have good flavor," Mast said. "It's really about the flavor and crunch factor, and that's what got Honeycrisp on the map. It was not the beauty of the apple." Early this season, Honeycrisp was selling for more than $80 a box, f.o.b. "Every marketer in the industry loves Honeycrisp because it's definitely broken the glass ceiling of what consumers are willing to pay for a good eating experience," he added. "It's given retailers an increased confidence level in the prices they can charge for good products." And that, he said, seems to have lifted the perceived value of the entire apple category. "We've tried to educate our retailers that the elasticity of pricing is stronger than what we once thought it was, based on what they are willing to pay for Honeycrisp. It's really paved the way for getting rid of the thought process that apples have to be dirt cheap before consumers are going to pick them up." We can't hold out forever for fixed prices. Increasing production in Washington State as well as a shift in the Midwest and eastern growing regions from the processing s ector to the fresh market are changing market forces. "What's worked in the past, I don't believe will work in the future as we move into larger crops," Mast said. The open market or spot markets used to be viable options. "Going forward, I think those markets are going to be a bit more of a challenge, so I think it's going to be very important to have relationships with the retailers you work with. The ability to achieve the maximum f.o.b. going forward is going to come from the program business and not playing the spot markets as in the past." 2 3 10500 Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood, CA 94513 800.634.1671 or 925.634.2191 (Alison Clegg or Richard Chavez) 877.457.6901 (Henry Sanguinetti) Fax 925.634.6040 22 OCTOBER 2013 Good Fruit Grower

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