Dec 27, 2011
Apples picked fresh from … storage

Shrimp cocktail and premium juices set out in the lunchroom at the new apple-packing plant in Huron, Wayne County, suggested good times.

And that would be just about right for New York’s apple country, where a building boom is reflecting a major shift in the region’s apple industry.

New storage facilities are supporting a move away from supplying apple processors and toward fresh fruit markets, such as the produce sections in grocery stores and the single-serving bags of apple slices in school lunch programs. The move is driven in part by growing consumer preference for fresh, local apples.

Industry veterans say just about every grower or cooperative, particularly in apple-dense Wayne County, has built a new cold-storage facility or added on to an old one in the last year or two. The U.S. Department of Agriculture counts these buildings, but its last count was before the recent boom and it won’t release new figures until next month. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence of a boom. Democrat and Chronicle

Read the rest of the story here.

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