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US (WA): Big crop, big demand for apples

Apple growers in the Pacific Northwest have been fortunate this year to have good apple production. With shortages in eastern apple-growing regions, abundant volumes of fruit coming from Washington have been well-received on the market, and with more varieties becoming available as the season progresses, consumer demand remains strong.

“We had record volume this year in Washington,” said Roger Pepperl, marketing director for Stemilt Growers in Wenatchee, Washington. “We've got one of the largest crops ever.” But prodigious volume is not the only good part of this year's season; quality of fruit as also been good, and Pepperl noted that apples have hit peak sizes that retailers look for. Combined with the shortage of apples elsewhere, demand has been very good, and that's led to good prices for growers as well as strong sales.

“We're having good movement and good sales,” said Pepperl. “In terms of movement, we've been experiencing record weeks. Prices have also been good, so we've really been blessed in both ways.” In normal years, large volumes of fruit would cover demand throughout the season, but with such strong demand this year, it's not clear if availability will be cut short toward the end of the season.

“I think it'll be similar to last year, when we finish; there might not be enough apples to meet all the demand,” said Pepperl. “It could be an issue in late summer, but for now, we still have plenty of apples for all of this business.”

For more information:
Roger Pepperl
Stemilt Growers
+1 509 662 9667

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