Northwest Cherries Trade Mission
Last year Northwest Cherries shipped 330 thousand boxes into Australia. BJ Thurlby, President of Northwest Cherries, recently returned from Australia where for the first time they were able to visit Western Australia to discuss opening the markets over there.
THURLBY: Not ever being to Western Australia, and seeing that as a real potential jump in our business, I wanted to make sure I had a chance to get over there and represent the industry. As one of the first folks to get to Western Australia and spend time talking to the importers, I think it’s going to be a very positive thing. We think that that particular area can actually add about fifteen percent maybe even twenty to the over all sales to Australia. We’re shooting for 400 thousand boxes there this year. That’s a good goal, we’ll see if we can achieve it, if our quality is there and we have enough lift; that’s the big issue going to Australia, you can’t even get enough planes. We might be able to get that done, but we’ll see.
Thurlby talks about another reason behind the Australia trip.
THURLBY: We’ve had some changes in our protocol this year with spotted wing drosophila, and while we haven’t found drosophila inside a cherry yet we know it’s in the region. So we’ve changed our fumigation protocol to accommodate that particular pest, and so that was another thing I wanted to make sure I got a chance to be available for to talk to the various retailers and importers over there about these changes.
The Northwest Cherries estimate for this year’s cherry crop is 20.9 million boxes. As of last week, most of the growing districts are about five to six days ahead of last year.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.