APPLES TO JAPAN
As the current generation of Japanese growers continues to age, the un-named shipper sees an economic opportunity and is pushing ahead with inspectors on hand to verify all of the stringent import requirements of Japan ...
TODD FRYHOVER-AJ-2=30 sec ... "I think it's a fantastic idea that these shippers are deciding to go back into a market that has not been explored for a number of years with some of these newer varieties that CAN handle the work protocol that's in place. You know, it's not exactly indicative to providing high quality fruit so that's why these new varieties are more adept at being able to survive that protocol. And it does provide good quality fruit on arrival so I, my hat's off to those shippers that want to look into those markets and try new varieties."
And, Washington Apple Commission president Todd Fryhover says Japan could be a good market because consumers there appreciate quality ...
TODD FRYHOVER-AJ-1=16 sec ... "I know that there's a lot of middle and upper class consumers in Japan. They certainly enjoy their apples. They're very nationalistic. They support their domestic industry very strongly. It's a great market for the Washington cherry industry."
Shippers are looking to add markets for export because Washington's 2016 apple crop is expected to be the second largest in history.
The last U.S. apples shipped to Japan were from the 2000-2001 season.