A union made at the beginning of the year between Orchard View and Omeg Family Orchards is about to see the first fruits of its labour, in the form of more high-quality cherries.
The respective US-based farms have been neighbours and friends since Orchard View’s start in 1923, with owner of Omeg Family Orchards Mike Omeg and Orchard View president Brenda Thomas deciding that now is the right time to work together and build on their position in the marketplace.
“Mike Omeg is an exceptional grower,” said David Nelley, vice-president of categories for apples, pears, cherries and global exports at Oppy, Orchard View’s exclusive partner for its ninth season. “He was named the 2017 Good Fruit Grower of the Year, a designation also awarded to the Baileys of Orchard View in 2003, we have no doubt these two powerhouses are a great match.
“Now with roughly 3,200 acres of cherries, grown, packed and harvested to Orchard View’s superior standards,” Nelley continued. “Taking on new acreage in this particular season will result in the best cherries we’ve seen yet.”
While this year's poor pollination weather resulted in just two to three flowers per spur and therefore 15 per cent less volume, the Northwest expects to yield bigger and better cherries.
“We’ll see a manageable volume compared to the cherry fatigue the industry experienced last year,” noted Jon Bailey, Oppy sales manager responsible for Orchard View.
“At an estimate of 1.2m-1.3m cartons, Orchard View could have a 30 per cent increase over 2017. We think fewer buds on the trees will mean better-tasting cherries which will set us up well for good repeat purchases along with having export quality and sizing earlier in the season.”