Tree Fruit Association Moves Forward

Tree Fruit Association Moves Forward

Tree Fruit Association Moves Forward. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.

Last week saw the official end of the Washington State Hort Association which has merged with the Yakima Valley Grower-Shippers and the Wenatchee Valley Traffic Association. Jon DeVaney, President of the new Washington State Tree Fruit Association says moving forward they'll be getting ready for the legislative session and keeping an eye on the port issue.

DeVANEY: Well the port issue is a very serious concern for the entire industry. Unfortunately when you have a private labor dispute there's not a lot we can do to force a solution. Really the only person that can intervene to force a solution would be President Obama who could mandate federal mediation under the Taft-Hartley Act . We have been working with a lot of our elected officials, the governors office, congressional delegation and legislators in Olympia to encourage the parties to try and reach a solution sooner.

DeVaney says they keep emphasizing that it's costing the industry tens of millions of dollars every week, lost sales and a serious drag on the state's economy.

DeVANEY: I think the key thing to emphasis over the last few year has been we've had ever growing crops. We've continued toga marketshare where we've had the opportunity to have, for example in the 2102 crop year, more exposure to eastern consumers because some of our competitors in other states didn't have the crops that they wanted. We've seen a lot of those customers come back with a lot of interest. We're hitting bumps in the road like the port issue but we see a lot of upside in the future to continue to grow the tree fruit customer base domestically and around the world.

That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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