Washington Red Delicious exports

Red Delicious apples are popular overseas. The Washington Apple Commission among many groups that have received USDA Agricultural Trade Promotion funding aimed at offsetting foreign tariffs.

WENATCHEE, Wash. — The Washington Apple Commission did better than it expected in getting $8.4 million in USDA Agricultural Trade Promotion funding as relief for estimated industry damage from retaliatory tariffs.

The commission applied for $10.7 million in ATP money in November. At a Dec. 6 meeting, Commission President Todd Fryhover said he hoped the commission would get $5 million.

The commission was ninth highest out of 57 organizations awarded a total of $200 million in ATP money by USDA on Jan. 31.

“We appreciate the USDA’s support of the apple industry and its understanding of the challenges we are facing due to retaliatory tariffs in our export markets. This funding will be key to building markets and reducing the impact on Washington apple producers,” Fryhover said in a statement.

At the December meeting, Fryhover said priorities for the ATP money would be broader public relations than the commission has previously been able to afford in Mexico, India, China and Southeast Asia with a secondary priority of Central and South America and Canada.

The ATP money will be used over 24 months starting with the 2019-2020 sales season that starts next fall, said Toni Adams, commission spokeswoman.

It will supplement about $5 million in USDA Market Access Program money and about $3 million of grower funds the commission spends each year on export promotions.

Direct loss of export sales of Washington apples in the 2018-19 sales season due to tariffs by Mexico, India and China has been estimated at $129 million by the Northwest Horticultural Council. Those three countries account for 50 percent of Washington apple exports, Adams said.

Pear Bureau Northwest, in Portland, asked for $2.1 million in ATP for promotions in Canada, Mexico, India, the Middle East and potential new markets. It received $564,000 and averages about $2.8 million in MAP annually. Kevin Moffitt, bureau president, said he expects a letter outlining approved activities.

The Northwest Wine Promotion Coalition received $2.1 million and the Wine Institute, in San Francisco, $9.7 million. The Western United States Agricultural Trade Association, in Vancouver, received $7.4 million.

The Washington State Fruit Commission, in Yakima, received $709,000.

Commission President B.J. Thurlby said the commission asked for $1.2 million but is happy to get the $709,000 and will spend it this season on cherry promotions in Korea, Taiwan, Australia and Southeast Asia.

About a dozen California recipients were led by the Almond Board of California at $3.1 million and the California Table Grape Commission at $2.8 million. Other top California commodities were Cal-Pure Produce, $1.7 million; pistachios, $1.7 million; walnuts, $1.6 million; prunes, $1.1 million.

Nationally, the American Soybean Association led at $21.8 million.

Other large recipients: U.S. Meat Export Federation, $17.5 million; U.S. Grains Council, $13.9 million; Food Export USA Northeast, $13.8 million; Food Export USA Midwest, $13.8 million; Southern U.S. Trade Association, $12.5 million; Cotton Council International, $9.2 million; U.S. Wheat Associates, $8.2 million; and U.S. Dairy Export Council, $5.3 million.

Central Washington field reporter

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