Dec 8, 2017New York industry expects good apple supplies
As the New York region prepares for the New York Produce Show, the state’s apple shippers report they expect apple supplies for the year-end holidays to be good on all fronts – good remaining quantities, good variety selection and good fruit quality.
New York state had 11.5 million bushels in storage awaiting shipment to market on Nov. 1, according to U.S. Apple Association’s monthly Market News inventory report. Ample supplies remain of hallmark New York varieties including Empire and McIntosh, as well as consumer favorite Gala and cooks’ preferred Rome and Idared.
The state harvested a forecasted total of 28.0 million bushels. While more than half of this year’s crop has already been sold, New York state apple shippers stressed there will be good supplies to meet year-end holiday demand.
“We are delighted with the crop we have to offer our customers. The growing conditions were excellent and the quality of the fruit reflects that. We have aperfect mix of varieties and sizes to accommodate any market,” said Ward Dobbins, owner of United Apple Sales, LLC, Lyndonville, New York.
Shippers pointed to the many factors that make literally and figuratively make New York state the Big Apple.
“New York state has the best conditioned and tasting apples due to favorable climate, glacial soils and ample natural precipitation,” explained David Williams, vice president of sales and marketing for Fowler Farms, Wolcott, New York. “The 2017 crop looks great with good fruit finish and color, and tastes as great as ever.”
Fans recognize New York state’s apple advantage, shippers note.
“Consumers really love New York apples and request our classic favorites such as McIntosh and Empire as well as new favorites SweeTango, SnapDragon and RubyFrost,” said Williams. And, he notes, “Our ciders are pure New York, and taste just like you are eating an apple when sipping.”
New York Produce Show is part of outreach plan
This month, New York Apple Association (NYAA) is sponsoring the opening reception of the New York Produce Show and has been an exhibitor at the show since its creation.
“This show is an ideal opportunity to showcase what our state can do for the buyers who are in our backyard – and we have a big backyard, including the largest city in the country,” said Haskins.
The state’s marketing order has been executing a full-court press all season long to get the word out about this year’s crop to wholesale, institutional and consumer customers alike, said NYAA President Cynthia Haskins.
“We kicked the season off by notifying buyers that while we expected a normal-sized crop this year, the size was all that would be normal – supplies, fruit size and finish would excel,” said Haskins.
NYAA’s marketing team began talking this year’s crop up to retailers and other wholesale buyers well before an apple was picked from a tree and hascontinued through the selling season, said Haskins. The NYAA team highlighted New York state’s perfect geography and climate for apple growing, and urged buyers to buy local.
NYAA’s public relations team has worked all season to promote the crop to consumers, to drive consumer demand. For example, in October NYAA sponsored the FarmOn Foundation’s annual Big Apple Crunch, which had 2 million-plus New Yorkers of all ages munching apples to spotlight the importance of supporting local farms and New York state agriculture.
In November, the association celebrated its 20th year providing the Official Apples to the world-famous New York City Marathon, media coverage of which puts New York state apples in front of millions of New Yorkers.
This month, NYAA will reprise its annual “Apples for Santa” campaign, encouraging New Yorkers to leave an apple for Santa, instead. And don’t forget apples for the reindeer! Meanwhile, NYAA’s popular Facebook page is expected to surpass 30,000 followers by year’s end.
“Our state is in a great position to finish the year strong, by bringing buyers and sellers together to deliver great apples for the holidays,” said NYAA’s Haskins.