Washington State Apple Commission picks new Prez
Washington State Apple Commission announced the appointment of current Export Operations Director Todd Fryhover as the new president of the organization, according to Wenatchee (Wash.) World
Fryhover said in a statement that he looks forward to maintaining and expanding the industry’s markets overseas, and will begin his new role at the Wenatchee-based company on Jan. 1.
The state’s tree fruit companies are looking to increase sales domestically and overseas as they face selling a record $108.9 million per box apple crop. Fryhover said that increasing sales overseas is a challenge.
The Washington State Apple Commission is an organization that was created by the state legislature in 1937 to represent the apple growers in Washington state. The commission receives funding from a 3.5 cent-per-box assessment on apple growers and federal Market Access Program money for overseas promotions.
Marketing Manager Rebecca Baerveldt told DailyVista that Washington State Apple Commission
doesn’t typically implement any domestic advertising, but solely focuses on international efforts because all of the commission’s shippers that it works with handle their own marketing activities.
“We have 13 reps that cover 27 different countries; they’re contractors, and I manage those contractors, so of course it’s a team effort,” she said. “We have our overseas contractors that are located in our major markets, and so they would be handling the implementation and would help us with determining what the marketing message will be and the appropriate plan in those markets. We want that local expertise to make sure we’re in line and hitting the hot button for promo activities.”
Baerveldt said that Washing Apple Commission utilizes those contracted representatives overseas to provide direction for the company in terms of what the industry needs, in an effort to assist them with keeping the company focused and making sure its programs are connected to the industry.
“The commission is in charge of promoting that Washington logo, but not the commission itself,” she said. “We work on behalf of the growers and our goal is to create value in the Washington apple, and the logo is the brand image. Our activities are focused on that, and of course as the president of the commission, Todd will be very much involved with making sure that we’re doing that and doing what the industry needs.”
The Washington State Apple Commission will be able to leverage Fryhover’s extensive industry background and connections to continue staying on top of the international market and the apple industry’s needs.
“I think that in terms of weathering an economic downturn, Wash apples are still in a good position domestically and internationally, and of course two-thirds of our crop is shipped domestically,” Baerveldt said. “People have to eat, and apples are healthy, convenient and wholesome foods. People might be trading down and might not be eating processed foods, but more fresh products will be in a good position, and we feel that obviously it’s a challenge, but we’ll feel the effects much less than others.”
Due to the commission’s overseas involvement, Baerveldt said that the company’s public relations and marketing initiatives are mainly handled on an international scale by agencies that span the globe, and have a firm grasp on the target market in each particular country.
She did say that she would consider speaking with an agency that has multiple locations internationally, but added that because Washington State Apple Commission is a state agency, the organization is required to use a bidding process, “so whenever we have projects that require the use of another contractor or outside services, we have to go through the tender process.”
Depending on the individual needs of each overseas market, the commission’s agency needs will change, and Baerveldt said that while she “wouldn’t rule it out, it’s hard to state (those needs).”
Agencies that have a global reach may want to discuss how your firm can assist Washington State Apple Commission as it looks to further cement its positioning in various countries throughout the world. Baerveldt is extremely pleasant and forthcoming, so DV readers may want to take more of a soft approach, and she may respond favorably.
Washington State Apple Commission
2900 Euclid Avenue
Wenatchee, WA 98801
(509) 663-9600 / x. 241
(509) 663-9600 / x. 251