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New York apple growers vote by landslide to continue generic marketing program

More than three-quarters of voting New York apple growers have elected to continue the state's marketing order, in a referendum conducted by the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets. The vote also continues the work of the New York Apple Association Inc., which the department contracts to carry out the marketing order's activities.

Growers voted to continue the marketing order by the largest margin since it was founded, with 76 percent voting in its favor in a statewide referendum held in March. The marketing order was first created by grower vote in 1959; growers revisit whether to continue it every eight years.

"This is a loud-and-clear vote of confidence in the power of the 'New York Apple' brand and of NYAA's work for the industry," NYAA board Chairman Brian Nicholson of Red Jacket Orchards, based in Geneva, NY, said in a statement. "We grow the world's best apples, and now we can continue investing in programs to educate consumers and to promote the 2013 crop and beyond."

"This vote demonstrates the overwhelming support of New York's apple industry to promote its world-class products," State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine added in a statement. "New York apples have a taste that is uniquely 'New York,' and that's what people love about them. This is a new year for our apple industry and we're optimistic it will be a good one. Apples are an excellent source of nutrition as well as extremely important to the landscape of New York State agriculture, and we are committed to ensuring this industry's continued development."

By state law, funds collected from industry by the marketing order are used to generically promote and advertise New York state apples and apple products, conduct market research and provide information to growers. The apple marketing order collects an average of $2.1 million to $2.3 million each year, depending upon the crop size, to promote New York state apples and apple products.