Cherry Growers in 2020 Pt 1

Cherry Growers in 2020 Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Northwest tree fruit growers have battled as much as anyone in the ag sector over the past few years to survive trade tariffs.

But, with 2020 off to a promising start with the signing of the USMCA and Phase-One of a China trade deal, things are looking up.

But, has there been much impact on our tree fruit industry?

Northwest Cherry Growers president BJ Thurlby says absolutely! …

THURLBY … “Let’s start with the USMCA. We’ve had unfettered access for our cherries into Canada and into Mexico and both of them are adjacent, quality markets for us. We’re selling, between the two counties, really, Canada’s the big one. We sell about 3-million boxes in there and then another 3-to-400, maybe 500-thousand boxes into Mexico. And, that’s important, close, nearby business that’s critical to the growers.”

And, those relationships, Thurlby says are the key …

THURLBY … “You know, it’s very positive. You know, nothing really changes for us. It’s not like we’ve lost a tariff and we’re going to gain market share for any particular reason. What it does is it gives us that certainty, which to me is the most important thing, that we have fruit going into those markets for the foreseeable future.”

But, Thurlby says the other major trade development may have been thrown a nasty curve ball…

THURLBY … “Now, when we talk about China, and I’ll say this with quotation marks around it, with the coronavirus situation going on, it’s a whole new wildcard and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.”

Tune in tomorrow for more of Thurlby’s take on 2020 trade and what needs to happen to have it all pay off.

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