Broetje Orchards Sold

Broetje Orchards Sold

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. Some rather shocking news ran through Washington's apple industry recently ...

BROETJE ... clip from promotional video ... "Imagine if there was a business that wasn't just about producing a quality product, but sought as part of its core focus to positively impact the lives of its employees and the communities it touched. This is what Ralph and Cheryl Broetje came to see as a vision for Broetje Orchards."

Well, that same Broetje Orchards, founded by Ralph and Cheryl Broetje 40 years ago, has been sold to the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan for a reported $288-million. The deal that closed December 28th was announced last week.

Broetje Orchards grows, packs and ships close to 7-million boxes of apples a year, including the proprietary Opal ...

BROETJE ... clip from promotional video ... Broetje Orchards is one of the largest, privately owned orchards in the United States and is a recognized leader in the apple industry from new varieties and orchard technologies, to storage and packing advancements. We are about innovation."

In a press release from the company, former Broetje Business Manager Jim Hazen has been named the CEO and President of the new company that will be operated as three new entities: FristFruits Farms, FirstFruits Marketing, and FirstFruits Community.

Hazen says "We are looking forward to maintaining the legacy established by the Broetje's to focus on growing quality apples and investing in our people."

Ontario Teachers' have committed to making the transaction as seamless as possible to avoid any disruption for employees or customers.

The group manages the pensions for approximately 323,000 active and retired elementary and high school teachers in Ontario, Canada.

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