Though some of the Northwest’s early cherries, particularly in the Rainier variety, saw diminished production due to weather conditions, Chelan Fresh Marketing has promotable volume and quality of peak-season reds.
“We are now shipping beautiful fruit, and some of our very best cherries are still to come,” Mac Riggan, Chelan Fresh director of marketing, said in a July 9 press release.
“This is a great year to build demand,” Riggan said.“We will see good cherries from this point on. Our estimated total production is 2.4 to 2.5 million boxes, and we’re not halfway through our season yet.”
To promote the fruit, Chelan Fresh is working with retail partners on special ads and providing free secondary display bins that Riggan said are known to generate additional sales for stores that use them.
General Sales Manager Tim Evans echoed Riggan’s enthusiasm for 2013 cherries, saying, “Our season is very good and getting better.”
One very important factor in quality assurance is the pack provided by Chelan Fresh. Produce departments are receiving the Bing and dark red varieties in 18- to 24-pound boxes of catch-weight bags. Evans said that new state-of-the-art electronic sizing and defect sorting lines further ensure excellent quality cherries on arrival.