Jan 9, 2019Applewood Fresh Growers launched in Sparta, Michigan
Third-generation Michigan apple grower Scott Swindeman is launching a new venture with Applewood Fresh Growers, a grower, packer, shipper and marketer of Michigan apples.
Applewood Fresh Growers is located in Sparta, the state’s “powerhouse” area for growing apples, Swindeman said. Applewood Fresh ships 21 apple varieties across the country on a year-round basis.
While officially a new company, Applewood Fresh can trace its family roots back to 1935 and the founding of its affiliate Applewood Orchards, located in Deerfield, about 170 miles away in East Michigan. Swindeman is the owner at Applewood Fresh and third-generation grower and partner at Applewood Orchards.
“Our work is about more than just sales or profit,” he said in a news release. “We take pride in serving as a reliable partner to our growers and customers, providing access to healthy, great-tasting fruit to people across the country and cultivating strong industry relationships along the way.”
Applewood Fresh offers an array of apple varieties to the U.S. market, which is made possible by its network of predominantly family-owned orchards with more than 11,000 acres. Included in the company’s 21 varietal offerings are four managed varieties: KIKU, Kanzi, Rave and SweeTango. Managed varieties are grown only by licensed growers in specific climate regions with ideal conditions for growing each particular varietal.
“We are thrilled to extend the legacy of a multi-generational company that not only offers delicious, quality apples but also values and prioritizes its relationships throughout the supply chain, from grower to buyer to consumer,” said Antonia Mascari, director of marketing at Applewood Fresh.
Applewood Fresh has implemented sustainability measures including advanced irrigation and pest control measures, pooling methods, eco-friendly packaging and wind and solar power. These environmental safeguards were designed to protect and preserve the orchards long-term, many of which have been farmed by the families of Applewood Fresh growers for multiple generations.
The news was announced the same day Sparta-based Riveridge Produce Marketing announced its sales staff was merging with Jack Brown Produce, positioning it to “market and ship 50 percent of the fresh Michigan apple crop.”