Catherine Gipe-Stewart Discusses Domex Superfresh Growers' Expanding Organic Program
- by Jessica Donnel
YAKIMA, WA - For Domex Superfresh Growers, organics are not a passing trend, but an inevitability—one that the grower/shipper is rapidly expanding and investing in. With a goal of doubling its organic crop in the next ten years, Superfresh Growers will definitely be a company to watch at this year’s upcoming Southern Innovations Organics and Foodservice Expo, held September 6 to 8, 2018 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Ahead of the show, I sat down with Communications Manager Catherine Gipe-Stewart to get the scoop on all things organic.
“The Southeast region of the U.S. is doing remarkably well on organic apples sales. In the Southeast, organics are 13 percent of dollar share of apples, and 12 percent of volume. That is 2 percent and 3 percent above the national average,” Catherine tells me when I ask her why the Superfresh team is so excited to bring its broadening organic program out to the Tennessee show. “We are aggressively growing our organics crop and organic Autumn Glory program, and we are excited to share that message in this key region.”
Of course, the fact that organic apple sales are booming doesn’t hurt the cause, but for Superfresh Growers, organics are more about a better style of doing business.
“We are passionate about growing organics. Sustainability and organics are at the forefront of what we do as well,” Catherine explains. “As farmers, we want to take care of our corner of the world and use resources wisely. We are focused on optimizing water usage, preserving productive land, and minimizing inputs. We also invest heavily in compost to build organic matter, and ultimately, the biological health of the soil. This reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, as well as improves tree health.”
As for what attendees of this year’s Southern Innovations will be able to get some in-depth first-hand knowledge about, Superfresh Growers will have its organic pouch bag program ready for the retail eye. With Gala, Fuji, Granny, and Honeycrisp apples alongside D’anjou and Bartlett pears, the company will have a full line of popular varieties, and, always the rockstar of the program, Autumn Glory® will be making an appearance as well.
“Autumn Glory continues to grow in organics, and research has shown that stores that carry both conventional and organic options of Autumn Glory often perform higher than those who choose one over the other. Consumers like choice, and we are happy to offer that with our flagship variety.”
Looking to get the inside scoop on the upcoming organic Autumn Glory harvest for yourself, or just looking to learn more about the company’s entire program? Visit Superfresh Growers at booth #213.