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Brandt resumes in-house sales of stone fruit

With sales and marketing of its stone fruit again handled in-house, E.W. Brandt & Sons Inc. in Wapato, WA, is looking at later but busy seasons for its cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, prunes, pluots, Donut peaches and nectarines.

Sales Manager Joe Brandt said in late May that cherries will start June 18 this year and run through late July. The first loads will go out a week to 10 days later than in years past, he said.

Apricots will ship starting July 9 and go through mid-August, Mr. Brandt said. Peaches will kick off the same start date and ship into early October.

Mr. Brandt said that nectarines will ship starting in mid-July and go through early October as well. Pluots out of Idaho are expected to ship beginning mid-to late August and extend into mid-October.

The company’s Donut peaches and nectarines will ship beginning late July, and prunes will start in mid-August, he said.

Amber Jewel plums, a trademarked fruit from E.W. Brandt that has seen excellent consumer response, will also start shipping in mid-August.

Mr. Brandt, part of the Brandt family that began its Washington farming operations in 1907, said that the extensive stone fruit manifest illustrates the company’s overall stature.

“We are one of the most vertically integrated companies in the state,” he stated. Brandt’s nursery allows the company to develop proprietary varieties.

The sales department works with retailers to tailor promotions, and Brandt packs under private labels as well as its own “E.W. Brandt” and “RemBrandt” labels.

“We are also on the leading edge of traceability programs,” Mr. Brandt said. The company’s in-house system allows traceback to individual blocks within the orchards.

In addition to computer technology, the company utilizes high-density planting and new variety development to extend the shipping seasons, he said.