Cherry Challenges Pt 1

Cherry Challenges Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Northwest cherry harvest is over as growers breath a collective sigh of relief, ahead of the wildfires, in one of our strangest on record. With markets already in question, growers were facing challenges … even before the pandemic hit.

Northwest Cherry Growers President BJ Thurlby says the higher elevation orchards just finished picking their crop …

THURLBY … “Absolutely! In fact, the harvest just finished up at the end of last week, so from that standpoint we’re done, but we’re still shipping a little bit of fruit.”

But, Thurlby says growers went into this year knowing the risks …

THURLBY … “Well, this is one of those seasons that when we went into it, and when you look at all the variables that were at play in this season, you know, you would think that we had a pretty good chance to have the train come off the track this year.”

But, Thurlby says in the end, the numbers look good …

THURLBY … “As it worked out, we had a little bit shorter crop. It came in at just over 20-million, 20.1-million boxes, and the growers that had cherries actually came out pretty well.”

Thurlby says this year they took advantage of digital advertising too …

THURLBY ... “There were a couple of nuances that I fell had a pretty big impact. You know, the number one thing is that before the season we retargeted our programs and really focused, when we work with retailers like Fred Meyer, Safeway, we focused on having them promote cherries online and I think that has worked out well for us.”

Tune in tomorrow for more … on the cherry challenges for 2020.

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