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Maura Maxwell

BY MAURA MAXWELL

@maurafruitnet

Positive outlook for Northwest Cherries

Funding for overseas promotional programmes has been increased this year

Positive outlook for Northwest Cherries

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Cherry producers in the north western US are gearing up for a strong 2014 campaign following good growing conditions during the winter months.

The latest estimates from the Washington State Fruit Commission suggest output could top 20m cartons and possibly reach 23m cartons provided there are no major climactic incidents before the crop is harvested in early June.

The Commission has approved a US$6.9m budget for cherry and soft fruit promotions in 2014. This includes US$1.74m from the US Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Programme, (MAP) a 30 per cent increase on previous programmes.

“We’re receiving about US$300,000 more in MAP money this year, which makes this year’s export budget the largest ever,” said commission president BJ Thurlby.

Domestic and overseas marketing is carried out by Northwest Cherry Growers, which represents growers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana. This season, the organisation is planning campaigns in the European Union, China, Korea, Australia, Taiwan and Brazil.

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