Bob Larson Northwest Cherry Markets Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: September 22, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. We told you recently about how this year’s cherry crop was ‘too much of a good thing’ with supply outpacing demand and prices dropping.

Undeterred, growing demand for our high-quality cherries is something Washington Cherry Growers Association president BJ Thurlby says is an ongoing effort …

BJ THURLBY … “I think from a marketing aspect, we just need to continue developing markets. That never ends for us or the industry. I think that there’s continued growth we need to push into Southeast Asia, certain parts of Asia. Moving forward, I really think for us, because we’ve got China really took an amazing amount of fruit this year, 3-million boxes, and we need to spend a significant amount of money in China just to keep that market growing and it continues to grow. But, I think the next level market for us, that can really make a difference over the long haul, will be India.”

But, Thurlby says India does present certain challenges …

BJ THURLBY … “We’ve kind of been between a rock and hard place because they require what’s called fumigation. And, then when you get the cold-chain in India is still developing. It’s not horrible, but it’s not great either. And, so you end up with fruit sitting out in the heat and at some point, they’re going to build their infrastructure up to the point where they’ve got great control for bringing fruits and vegetables in, keeping them cool, and getting them out to the consumer, and it’s happening right now. So, we think that’s going to be our next big growth market.”

Thurlby says it’s a good problem to have, but growers have set the bar so high for quality cherries that consumers have come to expect nothing but the best.

Listen tomorrow for more on that particular problem.

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