Sage Fruit builds on organic program

From The Packer | 21 August 2020

Overview of the organic cherries, apples and pears supply from Washington, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on August 20, 2020. 

Sage Fruit Co. LLC, Yakima, Wash., has welcomed Yakima-based Congdon Orchards to its team of grower-packer-shippers of Washington tree fruit, said Chuck Sinks, Sage Fruit’s president of sales and marketing.

Congdon will enhance the marketing, sales and distribution of Sage Fruit’s products, Sinks said.

“Through this new partnership, Sage Fruit will add considerable volume of Washington State apples, pears and cherries, including a large volume of organics,” he said.

Volumes of organic cherries from Washington state in the US market

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

During the 2020-21 season, the company will heavily promote organic apples and pears, he said.

Volumes of organic apples from Washington in the US market

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Volumes of organic pears from Washington in the US market

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Apple varieties include red delicious, granny smith, gala, fuji, Pink Lady and Honeycrisp.

The company markets bosc, anjou and bartlett pears.

“We have made numerous investments to expand our organic program,” Sinks said.

“Not only are we planting new acreage of organic orchards, but we are actively transitioning our conventional orchards to meet the needs of consumers.”

The demand for organic fresh produce has remained strong and even increased during the pandemic, he said.

Sage Fruit packs its organic apples and pears in bulk and in 2-pound pouch bags.

The company also has partnered with Apeel Sciences for a second season.

“In doing this, our organic apples are treated with Apeel, a plant-based solution, to help reduce moisture loss on the retail shelf and provide consumers with a better, more crisp and flavorful eating experience,” Sinks said.

The company is treating numerous mainstream organic apple varieties, including gala, fuji, Honeycrisp, granny smith and Pink Lady.

The best way to promote apples and pears at the grocery store is to create an apple destination within the produce department, Sinks said.

Such a destination allows consumers to see their options while providing them with information such as how to select and store, flavor profile, where they’re grown and how best to use them, he said.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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