U.S: Chinese importers to visit Washington apple country
The visit is aimed at learning more about both the apple and pear industries.
The Washington Apple Commission and Northwest Pear Bureau are jointly sponsoring the trade mission, which brings buyers from major importing companies in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Dalian.
While in Washington, the group will visit orchards and packing houses in Wenatchee and Yakima and have the opportunity to see the harvest and taste many locally grown varieties.
Events in both cities will give Washington apple export shippers the opportunity for one-on-one meetings with participants to discuss future business.
"We think that China could be the third largest market for Washington apples in the near future," Washington Apple Commission president Todd Fryhover said.
"In addition to the importer tour, we are conducting activities with major retailers throughout China and participating in e-commerce promotions as well."
In May 2015, after many years of negotiations, the US and China reached an agreement allowing access for all varieties of U.S. apples to enter China. For the previous two years, China had only allowed U.S. apple imports of the Red and Golden delicious varieties.
During the 2014-15 apple season which ended August 31, approximately 3.1 million 40-lb cartons of Washington apples worth over US$53 million ended up in China.
Historically, one-third of the Washington apple crop is exported to over 60 different countries.
Speaking to www.freshfruitportal.com in September about expectations for the season, Fryhover said Washington’s apple production this season was forecast at around 125 million boxes compared, to 140 million the previous season.