CMI Orchards Commits to Year-Round Supply Thanks to Import Partnerships
- by Kayla Webb
WENATCHEE, WA - Import season is upon us, and CMI Orchards is prepped and ready to bring conventional and organic apples, pears, and cherries from New Zealand, Argentina, and Chile to market next month. Robb Myers, Director of Sales, and Scott Granger, Chilean Import Manager, were on hand to discuss just what retailers can expect this summer.
“We set up import programs to bridge any gaps on domestic product,” Myers began. “We know how important it is for retailers to have year-round supply, and we’ve partnered with some of the best growers in the world to deliver the same premium quality fruit you can expect from our own domestic crops. The added bonus is an injection of beautiful new crop fruit in the summer months, providing strong opportunities for retail promotions during a time when apple sales can slow.”
In addition to the above listed categories, CMI Orchards is also bring specialty branded apples to market, including those from its New Zealand program: KIKU®, Kanzi®, Jazz™, and Envy™ apples.
“The big opportunity for retailers right now is with KIKU and Kanzi apples from New Zealand. We still have availability for any retailers that want to jump on board—particularly in the late summer. It’s highly competitive, so we’ll need to get commitments right away to secure volume for summer promotions,” Myers added, noting that imported KIKU and Kanzi apples can help retailers build year-round programs. ”This is really good news for retailers that care about consistent supply for long-term promotions.”
Myers continued: “As far as our full suite of global import opportunities, CMI can bring in branded KIKU, Kanzi, Jazz, Envy, and Ambrosia™ apples, organic and conventional core apples, plus pears and cherries. Volume depends on what gaps we need to bridge. It’s just nice to have the option to offer year-round supply and to be able to supplement with imports so that we can keep our retail partners’ shelves stocked.”
CMI also is available to work with retailers to forecast supply and cover any projected gaps, particularly with Chilean fruit, according to a press release.
“Conversations about importing apples and pears starts in December and is finalized in January, and this close to June, most of our conventional and organic product from Chile is already pre-committed for the current import season,” explained Granger.
Granger also emphasized the cherry category, particularly varieties heralding from Chile. Similar to apples, Chilean cherries can help supplement retailers' offerings and build out year-round programs.
“Some retailers don’t realize that we’re also able to bring in premium red cherries from Chile in the winter months. We’re about to hit an incredible Northwest cherry season and understandably imported cherries are far from anyone’s mind, but winter will be here before we know it," Granger noted. "Imported cherries offer a really nice cash injection and specialty offering for customers in December and January. We can start booking orders for imported cherries in the next few months.”
Both Myers and Granger concluded by asserting how important grower partnerships are when it comes to import programs—a fact that CMI Orchards celebrates all year long.
“Having great partnerships in place with select Southern Hemisphere growers offers us a world of opportunity to provide assurances and security of supply to our retail customers,” Myers concluded. “We’ve been doing this for over a decade and feel confident that the imported fruit we bring in to North America is exceptional and will not disappoint.”
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