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VANCOUVER, BC -- When the Northwest cherry season begins in June, one of the produce industry's older and more experienced companies will become one of the deal's fresher faces.

Through a multi-year arrangement, Orchard View Farms in The Dalles, OR, has appointed The Oppenheimer Group as its exclusive marketing partner. Oppenheimer will market Orchard View Farms' cherry crop both domestically and overseas.

Orchard View Farms, a fourth-generation, family-owned-and-operated cherry producer, grows on 1,800 acres in Washington's Klickitat County as well as Hood River, Wasco and Sherman counties in Oregon. The fruit is packed in a central location in The Dalles, in close proximity to Oppenheimer's White Salmon, WA, office, enabling Oppenheimer to streamline sales and logistics during the fast-paced fresh cherry season.

"With its broad-based domestic distribution, sales, marketing and business development network, Oppenheimer delivers a distinct value proposition that no other marketer can match," Brenda Thomas, president and general manager of Orchard View Farms, said in a Feb. 8 press release. "By marketing our fruit exclusively during our season, the company has the unique ability to help us differentiate Orchard View Farms' cherries in the marketplace."

The volume from Orchard View Farms significantly lifts the volume of Oppenheimer's overall cherry program, which previously consisted of consistent supplies from the Southern Hemisphere during the winter.

"Our brief acquaintance with the exemplary team at Orchard View Farms has made the synergies we can achieve together very clear," John Anderson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Oppenheimer, added in the press release. "We believe our partnership can deliver meaningful value to our customers by providing a new fresh cherry option. Because the supply chain extends to the consumer, Orchard View Farms and Oppenheimer's efforts combine to assure growing, harvesting, packing and shipping disciplines are implemented that produce fruit that can withstand the rigors of the supply chain and help retailers satisfy their shoppers' demand for fresh, high- quality, sweet cherries."

Orchard View Farms produces primarily Bing, Chelan, Kordia, Lapin, Tieton, Rainier, Regina, Skeena and Sweetheart cherries, planting the various varieties in the ideal micro-climates and elevations to assure optimum quality and steady supplies.

In addition, the fruit is packed into proprietary View Fresh modified- atmosphere bags, which lengthen shelf life and keep cherry stems green. This innovation, which was developed by Orchard View Farms in the 1990s, has helped enhance the grower's reputation for quality both here and in about two dozen export markets in Asia, Australasia and South America. Shipping begins in June and wraps up by mid-August.