The Washington State Fruit Commission, (the Commission), a Washington State Agency defined under RCW15.28, was created in order to develop and promote Washington’s soft tree fruits as part of an existing comprehensive regulatory scheme, vital to the continued economic well-being of the citizens of this state and their general welfare that its soft tree fruits be properly promoted by (a) enabling the soft tree fruit industry to help themselves in establishing orderly, fair, sound, efficient, and unhampered cooperative marketing, grading, and standardizing of soft tree fruits they produce; and (b) working to stabilize the soft tree fruit industry by increasing consumption of soft tree fruits within the state, the nation, and internationally.
The Commission is governed by a board composed of seventeen voting members, as follows: Ten producers, four dealers, two processors, and the director of Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), or an authorized representative. A majority of the voting members constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business.
An annual assessment is levied upon all commercial soft tree fruits grown in the state or packed as Washington soft tree fruit. The Commission’s comparative financial statements include the financial position and results of operations.
The Commission’s activities consist of four main areas as follows:
- Health and Data Research
- Grower Education
- Administrative Services
Promotion and Research
Through professional representatives in the U.S. and around the world, the Commission coordinates activities designed to increase awareness and consumption of Northwest Cherries and Washington stone fruits. Domestically, the director of marketing and several regional managers work with national and regional retailers and local fruit packers/shippers to market Northwest Cherries and Washington stone fruits.
Our foreign department is coordinated by the director of international marketing and international marketing representatives around the world who manage and develop promotions for Northwest Cherries and Washington stone fruits with activities tailored to each country’s market.
The Commission is authorized to conduct research relative to market intelligence, consumer preferences, retail and importer trends, and scientific based study of the healthful benefits associated with stone fruits.
The Commission facilitates education through grower meetings and symposiums and also by publishing the Good Fruit Grower magazine and working closely with other industry organizations to sponsor grower meetings. The Good Fruit Grower magazine was established in 1946, and is eagerly read by orchardists and vineyardists worldwide. It covers the growing, packing, handling, marketing, and promotion of tree fruits (apples, pears, cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, prunes, and plums), as well as juice and wine grape production.
The magazine is published in Yakima, Washington, in the heart of one of the world’s top tree fruit and grape growing regions. The Good Fruit Grower is internationally renowned for its timely, accurate, and in-depth reporting on key industry issues and its outstanding presentation. It has subscribers in every U.S. State and 43 countries. Readers call it the best in the industry and say they look forward to each issue.
The magazine is published 17 times a year, on a semimonthly schedule from January through May, and monthly from June to December. Subscribers are able also to access the latest news, the current issue, and archives on the Web site.
The Commission offers administrative and accounting services to the following organizations:
- Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission
- Northwest Cherry Growers
- Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service
- Processed Pear Committee (administering Marketing Order #927)
- Cherry Marketing Committee (administering Marketing Order #923)
- Northwest Fruit Exporters
- Good Fruit Grower
The Washington State Fruit Commission Board ultimately maintains all responsibility and authority for the Commission’s operations. The Board chooses to delegate the authority for the Commission’s operations in the following ways:
- Hire a Manager/President with responsibility and authority to hire and develop a staff and programs to meet Commissioners’ goals and objectives.
- The Board Chairman and Committee Chairmen have the responsibility to communicate through the Manager the goals, objectives, and policy of the Commission. Similarly, the Manager has the responsibility to keep the Chairman, Committee Chairmen, and Commissioners aware of the progress of committees and Commission programs and operations.