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Bob Larson Cherry Trade Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: November 15, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Besides dealing with the growing problem of Little Cherry Disease and a labor shortage, Northwest cherry growers have also got to be thinking about what to do if they lose China as their number one market.

Northwest Cherry Growers president, BJ Thurlby says production continues to climb and this year was no different …

THURLBY … “We had a larger crop than we thought, and that’s a good thing. We ended up with a nice warm May, which is perfect, and the fruit sized really well and had great sugar. We had great demand on the fruit from start to finish this year which is important to our organization. We get excited about that. Growers did an amazing job and really overall it was a good year for us.”

But, Thurlby says the tariffs are a real problem …

THURLBY … “Because, where we ended up on China last year is that they literally put an $8.90 per kilo tax, tariff, on the fruit as it arrived. And, if you think about that, that was actually more than what the fruit was valued at when it was purchased. And, that money goes straight to the Chinese government.”

Thurlby says if not China, then who?

THURLBY … “At the end of the day, it makes it really hard for a grower to get any money back out of sending fruit to China when it’s like that. So, I’m guessing that was probably part of the master plan. But, at the same time, if that’s in place this next year we’ll just target our money elsewhere, our promotion dollars, whether that’s Korea, whether it’s India, whether it’s Viet Nam, we’re going to have to move on because I don’t see that market, with that type of treatment to our growers, being viable.”

Listen tomorrow for more on the trade situation for Northwest cherry growers.

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