Jul 31, 2023Utah tart cherry tour highlights domestic production
The Utah Red Tart Cherry Marketing Board (URTCMB), in partnership with Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI), led online influencers, Utah lawmakers and other industry stakeholders on an orchard and cherry processing plant tour.
The July 27 event was part of a nationwide “Buy U.S.-grown tart cherries” marketing campaign funded by a Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Specialty Crop Block Grant.
During the tour, attendees saw the process of how Utah cherries are harvested and processed. The tour, at McMullin Orchards Inc., Payson, Utah, also provided growers and processors the opportunity to share the hard work it takes and the many challenges they face in producing a high-quality U.S.-grown product.
The U.S. tart cherry industry has been overwhelmed by cheap foreign imports that have caused record low prices, putting many American multi-generational farming operations out of business. These excessively cheap imported cherries are generally subsidized by foreign governments to offer a product that can be brought into the U.S. and sold below the cost of production for Utah farmers, putting farms and businesses in jeopardy.
The tour was the beginning of a year-long marketing campaign to educate consumers on how to identify Utah tart cherry products in the marketplace, and to encourage the purchase of U.S.-grown tart cherries over imported products.
The Cherry Marketing Institute, Dewitt, Michigan works to increase the sales and use of cherries by expanding the market domestically and globally.