Chelan Fresh Enters Into Marketing Agreement with Columbia Valley Fruit; Tom Riggan and Orlin Knutson Comment
- by Jordan Okumura
CHELAN, WA - In a move that doubles Chelan Fresh’s organic treefruit program, the company has entered into a marketing agreement with Columbia Valley Fruit of Union Gap, Washington. The agreement will allow Chelan Fresh to become the exclusive marketer of organic and conventional apples from Columbia Valley Fruit.
“Columbia Valley Fruit has a long history as one of Washington State’s premium organic fruit grower-packers. We are very excited to be working with the Columbia Valley family,” CEO of Chelan Fresh Tom Riggan, shared. “Our customers value the high-quality, strong varietal mix that Columbia Valley Fruit brings to the market.”
It’s exciting times at Chelan Fresh and Columbia Valley Fruit, as this agreement comes just a little more than a month after Chelan Fresh and Borton Fruit announced their merger. Slated to go into effect September 1, 2017, partners Orlin Knutson, Mark and Tom Tudor, Chris Vizena and Bill Monson will retain ownership of Columbia Valley Fruit, under the marketing agreement.
"Our growers are our top priority–whether it be providing support and guidance to produce great quality fruit, or making strategic moves to assure top returns for their efforts," said Orlin Knutson, Partner and spokesperson for Columbia Valley Fruit. "We are confident that the market access achieved through this alliance with Chelan Fresh will provide our growers with exciting economic opportunities well into the future."
The organic and conventional apple program will be marketed under Chelan Fresh’s organic Cascade Crest label and the internationally recognized conventional Trout label, according to a press release.
Working with progressive farmers in Washington to grow, store, and pack high-demand organic and conventional apple varieties, Columbia Valley Fruit brings modern orchard systems to its program that increase harvest volumes of the highest quality apples per acre. The company has nearly 30 years of experience growing organic fruit and is also a certified organic handler by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. In addition, the farmers grow in accordance with the National Organic Program Standards.
Congratulations to Chelan Fresh and Columbia Valley Fruit on the new marketing agreement and the fruitful road ahead!