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Growing season for apples, pears ‘stellar’ for Giumarra

Customers can expect a superlative season for apples and pears in 2013, according to Jason Bushong, sales manager for Giumarra Wenatchee.

“The growing season in New Zealand was stellar and created a vintage crop in terms of pressure, flavor and shelf life,” he told The Produce News.

The company was created in 1992 as part of the Giumarra Cos. and markets a full line of apples, pears and kiwifruit in the United States.

This season, Giumarra will move Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Royal Gala apples from New Zealand.

“Fruit size, relative to U.S. demand, is a bit smaller,” Mr. Bushong said. “Market trends and currency will ultimately dictate how much of the crop comes to the United States this season.”

GiumarraLemons2013The volume of Meyer lemons to be marketed by Giumarra Wenatchee will increase 20 percent this season. (Photo courtesy of Giumarra Wenatchee)Retailers and consumers will once again have an opportunity to enjoy the company’s latest offering, the Lemonade apple variety, which was introduced last year.

“Lemonade went really well, and we look to have a few more to market into North America again this season,” Mr. Bushong noted. “The Lemonade is a great summertime apple with a crisp, ‘zesty’ flavor.”

Conditions are also good for Giumarra’s pear crop. Taylor’s Gold, Bosc and Comice pears are shipped from New Zealand to the company’s customers.

“Pear volume is up as well in 2013,” Mr. Bushong added. “Quality and condition are both very good this season. [As with apples], final volumes destined for the U.S. will be heavily market- and currency-driven.”

According to Mr. Bushong, kiwifruit volume will be down during 2013.

“The PSA virus has almost wiped out the gold kiwi,” he noted. “This is having an indirect effect on the green as other global markets may increase their green demand to offset the gold shortfall.”

Turning to citrus, Giumarra has entered its sixth season importing Meyer lemons.

“We are leaders in the field with this lemon,” Mr. Bushong said. “We are looking at a 20 percent increase in New Zealand Meyer lemons this season. Consumer reception has really taken off. We use [two-pound] specialty packs to help call out the variety at retail with recipes and grower stories. We also now have a PLU number specific to Meyer, which will help differentiate the Meyer from regular lemons on the shelf.”