Manson Growers: 2021 season yielded 1.2 million boxes of apples

Graphic Courtesy Manson Growers

MANSON - "Apple Capitol of the World," a moniker for Wenatchee that expands across Chelan County. Despite severe heat, supply-chain delays, and transportation issues, fruit-packing companies comment on how they have been faring since last season.
Manson Growers' Assistant General Manager Jared England reports that aside from the issues from last year, that their operation was doing considerably better compared to businesses who were dealing with staffing shortages.
"We've been fortunate to not have had any labor shortages really to date."
Due to Manson Growers essential business status, they have been able to have staff following the CDHD recommended COVID-19 protocols to help limit the impact. They also included on-site vaccinations for their workers.
The 2021 season yielded 1.2 million boxes, with 85% to 90% exported internationally. "That's up to 90% of our crop is sent international, either to Mexico or to Asia are our key largest markets."
The main issue that Manson Growers has been contending with are the systemic supply-chain issues that every industry has been battling during COVID-19. England reports higher delays in Seattle ports that are delaying their Asian exports.
"The availability of containers then delays their import. Many trucks are also refusing to deliver there because of the delays they experience when they arrive," England said. "We also have key relationships with different exporters that help us leverage the bookings, and so when they do come available, we're able to get in the queue."
These delays have been a recent development for Manson Growers, with a 5% to 10% slow down from their usual shipping pace. However, the heat damage from this season lowered their usual output.
"Luckily this season's crop is smaller than our average, and so we are able to still keep our fruit moving, but at a slower pace," England said. "There was a percentage of fruit that was left on the trees because of sunburn or other heat related damage, that impacted the overall crop size as well. Just the normal cyclical yield that happens in tree fruit."
England states that although 2021 was a slower year, they still felt that it was a good year for their operation.

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