YAKIMA, Wash. — Jim Archer, who retired Dec. 31 after 20 years as manager of Northwest Fruit Exporters, was crowned 70th king of the Northwest cherry industry at its annual Cherry Institute, Jan. 10.
The honor was bestowed for Archer’s years of commitment and service to the industry. Archer, 70, has been instrumental in helping Northwest cherries gain market access to Japan, South Korea and Australia.
As manager of the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Division in the mid-1980s, Archer helped devise and carry out a plan for cherries to be exported to Japan. He worked with Japanese inspectors to certify fumigation chambers at Northwest packing sheds. For his work, he received the Governor’s Distinguished Management Leadership Award in 1989.
In 1993, Archer retired from 27 years of service with WSDA. In 1994, he became manager of Northwest Fruit Exporters. The nonprofit corporation was established in 1985 in Yakima to manage export market preparation procedures for fresh sweet cherries to Japan. In 1992, its role was expanded to include export of apples to Mexico, China and Japan.
At NFE, Archer wrote a new protocol, that allows export of cherries to Japan without fumigation, saving that cost. He worked on access to Australia and harmonized fumigation temperatures for cherries to Japan, Korea and Australia.
Archer was born in Kansas and grew up in Wapato, Wash., where he worked in orchards as a teenager. He worked for the Yakima Fruit Growers Association which became Snokist Growers. He was assistant head sales manager. In 1966, Archer joined WSDA as a horticultural inspector.