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US: FirstFruits' Washington packing line helps improve apple quality

FirstFruits Marketing of Washington is building for success during the 2017-2018 apple season with new technology focused on increasing the quality of their crops, including proprietary varieties Opal and Sweetie apples.

Earlier this year, FirstFruits completed the installation of a new packing line and automated palletzing system at their flagship facility at Broetje Orchards in Prescott, Washington. 

The company tells that the new additions have improved the handling of fruit to ensure apples arrive in better condition to assist in maintaining a longer shelf life at retail. The new systems also include improvements to the cold chain process to keep apples chilled from harvest to arrival.

Organic tonnage at FirstFruits also continues to rise, with emphasis on varieties consumers demand including Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Pink Lady and, Opal.

“The response to Opal continues to grow and remains positive among consumers,” said Zeutenhorst.  “There’s a powerful fan following for the apple that continues to propel it upwards in both sales and volume. As of last season, Opal climbed into the list of the top 20 varieties.”

For more information: 
Dennis Jackson 

Publication date: 10/18/2017


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