Japan Trade Deal and Tree Fruit Pt 1

Japan Trade Deal and Tree Fruit Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The trade agreement with Japan, recently signed and approved, is welcome news to growers across the country and here in the Pacific Northwest.

Northwest Cherry Growers president BJ Thurlby says Japan is a great market for many growers, but …

THURLBY … “Well, needless to say, our growers are always happy for free trade agreements no matter where they fall, but as it happens with Japan the details, you know, I don’t know how it’s really going to have an effect, one way or the other, on cherries.”

But, for cherry growers, Thurlby says Japan is a evolving market …

THURLBY … “We’ve been shipping cherries into Japan, with a small tariff, for, you know, 35-40 years almost. And, really, the Japan markets have become so mature and the local growers that, they grow quite a few cherries themselves, they’ve actually quadrupled their production in the last decade.”

And, Thurlby says even though the trade deal won’t benefit cherry growers that much, that’s okay …

THURLBY … “You know, and the Japanese are going to buy and eat their local cherries, which is great. I think that’s wonderful, but the markets been just kind of flat and we kind of see it as a mature market. So, we don’t really think that the free trade agreement’s going to have a huge impact on our business for stone fruit, but it’s possible we might see a little bit of, depending on what comes out in the details.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the impact of this free trade deal struck with Japan on our Washington cherry industry and other Northwest tree fruit growers.

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