Cherry Exports Pt 1

Cherry Exports Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. It’s no secret, the past two years have been a challenge for specialty crop exports thanks to the pandemic and supply chain challenges.

But, BJ Thurlby, president of the NW Cherry Growers, says they’re fortunate in that very little of their exports to China is sent by sea …

THURLBY … “The good news, the glass is half full answer to that is, we actually fly 90% of our cherries and we’ve, at the Fruit Commission, we have worked with a couple of different airline groups, and we’ve helped the industry out in recent years by helping, talking some people into trying freighters.”

But even that, Thurlby says won’t be easy moving forward …

THURLBY … “We expect our exports to be down a little bit. We were down this year, you know, traditionally we’ve been in that 35 to 30% range, and we were right at 30%, and last year we were right at 28%. So, between the tariff situation we’ve gotten a couple of countries in Asia and the freight situation, it’s just a scary deal.”

Thurlby says they’ve had some success in China prior to the trade war …

THURLBY … “But, put on 50% tariff and then you get the risk of their government over there, which is really scary, and a lot of the people that, you know, in the last 20 years have become successful entrepreneurs are under the microscope in China and that’s a scary place to be.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on NW Cherry export markets and the challenges they’ll face in the years ahead.

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