The New York appleindustry has bounced back in fine style from a record-low season last year. Despiteserious concerns that the European market’s stance on DPA would hamper theirability to send fruit to this market, New York’s shippers have workedtirelessly throughout the off-season to ensure that their facilities andpractices give them as much chance as possible to comply with the new MRL forthe chemical.
Young trees in NY orchards
Excellent weatherconditions have led to an abundance of high quality, according to Jim Allen,president of the New York Apple Association. “After one of the most difficultyears we’ve experienced, this year’s apple harvest is back in full swing acrossNew York state,” he said. "We haven’tjust made a recovery, we’ve roared back to form. Not only that, our growers andshippers have responded positively to the EuropeanCommission’s decision to set the MRL for DPA at 0.1 mg/kg and we are reasonablyconfident that we will be in a position to continue supplying UK customers beyondMarch next year, when that position will be enforced.”
New packing line ready for a big crop of new-season apples
All key shippersfrom New York State to Europe have taken significant measures to prevent DPAcross contamination once that date is reached. Kaari Stannard is president of New York Apple Sales, one of the state’s largest appleshipper. “As an industry, we have supplied the UK market for decades and our goalhas always been to continue the excellent relationships that we have in themarketplace,” Stannard says. “Initial researchsuggested that it would be very difficult to maintain the level of supply oncethe DPA ruling came into play, but we’re using new rooms and bins and thinkwe’ve done the right things to ensure that it doesn’t become an issue. Icertainly hope so. We value this market highly; it is important to us and ourwillingness to continue to adapt and adjust to its ever-changing demands isevidence of our long-term commitment to our customers.
A CA storage that has never seen DPA
“We have dedicatedone of our three storage facilities to being DPA free. The walls and floorshave been treated in our cold rooms to prevent cross contamination of pre-existingDPA molecules to our new season fruit. In addition, we have sealed thewalls and floors with a coating that is supposed to trap any existing DPAmolecules within the sealant. Our storage protocol is to only receive andstore new wooden or washed plastic bins within this storage. We cannotguarantee that our measures taken will be effective, but we are very optimisticthat we can achieve the legal MRL this season and that we will continue toreduce the levels found over the next few seasons."
Orchards have enjoyed the last flush of summer
“There’sno question that fruit size will be higher than normal overall, which is alittle surprising given the size of crop we have. But after last year’sdisaster, the orchards overset and in early July, growers hand thinned everything to singles. From very early on, it’s been obvious we’d have a lot oflarge fruit. I am expecting the crop to peak at around 100 count, which isabout 1.5 sizes larger than average,” says Baker.
For more information please visit www.usaapples.com