Bob Larson Northwest Cherry Markets Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: September 25, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Cherry growers in our state, following a record crop that put more fruit in the stores than consumers were ready to buy, are trying to figure the best way to grow demand.

Washington Cherry Growers Association president BJ Thurlby says it’s a pretty good problem to have …

BJ THURLBY … “I think our growers are the best growers in the world and I think that because we do a really good job, in the United States certainly, and really overseas too, we’re running programs in 20 different countries, but I think that the consumer has been spoiled, so to speak, with really, really good fruit from our world.”

Thurlby says while we’re pretty good at what we do, there’s always room for improvement …

BJ THURLBY … “And, I think this year, with that pressure we had, we have all kinds of mechanisms for making sure that we have certain firmness and certain sugars, but at a certain point if you raise the bar too high not a lot of this crop would have been able to make it to the market. So, basically you just say, we need to get this fruit out, there’s a lot of health benefits related to the fruit, and hopefully the consumers will respond to that. And, they did, but not at the level we wanted them to.”

Thurlby says it wasn’t for lack of trying …

BJ THURLBY-14 = 14 … “You’d of been really hard-pressed to go into any store in July and not see a big cherry display.

You know, that’s part of our challenge this winter is, because we know we executed really well on that front and we still didn’t see the movement we needed. So, we’ve got to just kind of figure that out.”

Thurlby says they’re just growing pains and as long as they pick up consumers along the way, they’ll be just fine.

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