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Greg Martin 01/23/06 China a threat to NW cherries?
by Greg Martin, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: January 23, 2006

For years, members of the Northwest tree fruit industry have heard about the impending threat of China and their attempts to out produce the world. Most of that talk has centered on apples and pears. But it appears that China might be using that same approach when it comes to our regions cherry industry as well.

LOVELAND: When we went to China in 2004, we also went from China to Vietnam to Thailand. And we heard from buyers in Thailand that China was pushing cherries down the pipeline. And they were all complaining because everybodys trying to protect their own markets for whatever they have, or meaning that they already have buyers in high quality. They dont want to take lower quality to replace the people they are buying from now.

Washington State Agriculture Director Valoria Loveland says Chinas unwillingness to share numbers on cherry production makes it hard to gage at this point what that nation is capable of doing.

LOVELAND: Its very difficult to know how much or where because China is a communist country, and they can decide what theyre going to do, where theyre going to do it.

But despite those examples, Loveland believes that Northwest cherries have little to fear in terms of competition from China. And a lot of it stems from the stellar reputation for our regions cherries and the demand that has been created as a result.

LOVELAND: If you are looking for quality, predictability, price always comes third.

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