India shortlisted high potential market for Washington apples

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Chennai, Mar 18 (UNI) The Washington Apple Commission (WAC), the promotional arm of about 3,500 apple growers in the US, has shortlisted India, especially, the south, as the most potential market for Washington apples.

Addressing a press conference here, WAC Project Manager Tod Fryhover said that in the last season 1.6 million boxes of Washington apples were sold in India and this season, the sale was expected to be more.

He said of the 1.6 million boxes sold last season, Chennai city alone accounted for consuming more than 60 per cent of the imported apples, particularly the red delicious variety. "The commission has chalked out promotional programmes with special focus on trade and consumers to improve the sale in India," he added.

Mr Fryhover said 20 per cent of the imported apples were sold through the organised sector, while 80 per cent through roadside vendors.

The potential was tremendous in India, he said, adding the apple production which was about 8,200 MT during 2005-06, had risen to more than 26,000 MT during 2006-07. Thanks to the increased production, the commission would focus on international market, he said.

Besides India, the commission has shortlised China and Russia for promoting the sale of Washington apples. There were nine varieties of apples grown in more than 2.25 lakh acres of apple orchards in Washington.

Export Marketing Manager Rebecca Baerveldt said the enhanced standards of living had ensured increase in import of the apples to India every year. The commission was organsing promotional activities to make the consumers aware about delicious and nutritious Washington apples, she added.

UNI WS SJ 1529

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