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After 2-Year Market Closure, Wash. Apples Headed To China Again

Andrea Parrish - Geyer
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Washington apples will soon be packed aboard boats to China. The Chinese government approved market access to Northwest fruit Wednesday after a two-year market closure.

Getting access to China is essentially a $50 million deal per year for Washington apples farmers. The Chinese government closed off markets in August of 2012, citing concerns about a fungus that had been recently discovered.

Northwest apple shipments slowed, but didn’t stop. Many Washington orbs were routed through Hong Kong where they journeyed on to China in the grey market. 

Now, after two years of negotiations and checks on Washington soil by government officials, the market is open to Washington’s red and golden delicious varieties.

Washington apple farmers are hoping that come January, China might even increase access to its markets to include all Washington varieties. They’re eager to ship fujis, galas and grannies.

To get Chinese customers palates primed for the incoming new fruits, the Washington State Apple Commission is planning tastings at top markets there. 

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.