Funding from the Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) to the Washington Apple Commission (WAC) will be spent on promoting an anticipated large apple crop, and combatting the sales loss due to tariff increases, according to WAC president, Todd Fryhover.
The US$8.4m in funding has been allocated as a relief to the predicted US$129m in industry damage from increased Mexican and Chinese tariffs on US apples, Capital Press reported.
“With trade issues and competition displacing us, whether the European Union or China, now is not the time to be shy. It’s time to invest. We’re lucky to have ATP to assist,” Fryhover said.
Frohover added that a majority of the money (US$6.34m or 75 per cent) will be spent in the 2019-2020 season, with the remainder to be spent in the 2020-2021 season.
Capital Press reported the WAC asked for US$10.7m in funding from the ATP, expecting approval for only US$5m or so. Fryhover said it was a “small miracle” the commission received US$8.4m out of the total US$200m distributed.
The grant is largely used for in-store and point-of-purchase promotions. Rebecca Lyons, WAC export marketing director said campaigns will run in China, India, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam, and that the funding will allow for broader advertising campaigns.
There will also be in-store sampling of the new Cosmic Crisp variety in Canada during the 2020-2021 season.
This season, the industry is expected to produce around 118m boxes (18kg) and next season that number is predicted to be upwards of 130m.
The WAC will track and measure the success of the promotional programmes and report back to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.