Organic Apple Acreage Pt 1

Organic Apple Acreage Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. Certified organic apple production increased 37% in Washington state in 2017, and looks like it will grow even more this year.

In 2016, there were 16,191 acres of certified organic apples in the state. The 2017 year ended with about 22,116 acres certified.

WSU professor David Granatstein says the huge jump likely came about for more than one reason ...

GRANATSTEIN ... "One of the drivers is starting more at the fruit company level where fruit companies have customers who are essentially saying, look, we want to come to you and we want to say here's our order for conventional apples and all these different varieties and different amounts, and here's our order for organic, different varieties, different amounts, we want you to take care of the whole thing and if you can't help us meet this organic market then we'll go somewhere else who can because it's become a really important part of the retail grocery business."

Granatstein says you can witness the obvious growth of the organic market at the grocery store ...

GRANATSTEIN ... "In a recent study by the Neilson Group that tracks all the marketing stuff in the U.S. found that the number of mainstream groceries, the larger chains and what-not, their stores that had organic apples in the store, apparently, went from less than 60 percent 10-years ago to almost, virtually, 99 percent currently."

Using the 3,478 acre transition estimates from certifiers, there might be 25,594 acres certified by the end of 2018, or another 16 percent.

Listen tomorrow for more on this organic boom in apple production and how long it might last.

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