Farm bill provision boosts bulk apple exports

02/26/2014 10:14:00 AM
Tom Karst

Saving growers as much as $300 a truckload, a 2014 farm bill provision allows bulk fresh apple shipments to be shipped without an inspection to Canada.

The new provision applies to all U.S. bulk apple shipments to Canada. The change in the law, related to an exemption to the Apple Export Act, could save New York apple exporters about $450,000 annually, according to a news release from the office of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

Jim Allen, president of Victor, N.Y.-based New York Apple Association, thanked Gillibrand and Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., for acting on behalf of apple growers to secure the farm bill provisions. In the news release, Allen said 650 truckloads of apples shipped from New York to Canada in the 2013-14 season have paid the inspection fee, but perhaps another 800 truckloads shipped during the balance of the season will be exempt. That should be a huge savings for growers, he said.

With nearly 1.5 million bushels of apples exported to Canada, the farm bill provision could save growers more than $500,0000 annually.

“It was one of those laws that have been on the books since the 1930s, and it was written to keep the standards of the product leaving the country to a certain level,” Allen said Feb. 25. “That makes sense on packed product going to the market, but we got the exemption on bulk apples that will either be ground up for apple sauce or juice or repacked as fresh apples.”

That made inspection unnecessary, he said.

The first loads that were exempt from inspection left the state in mid-February.

Allen said New York will benefit the most from the change in the law, probably followed by New England and Michigan growers. Most volume of bulk apples headed to Canada are destined for processing, notably a large apple sauce manufacturer north of Montreal.



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Denise Donohue    
Michigan  |  March, 14, 2014 at 07:22 AM

Congratulations, Jim Allen! I know you worked tirelessly on this for several years.

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