WENATCHEE, Wash. – Growing fruit for maximum quality and freshness takes a village, but for Douglas Fruit BB #:345922 and Goose Ridge BB #:360075, it takes family. As long-time committed fruit growers, Goose Ridge will bring new acreage of apples to Douglas Fruit to be packed and marketed under the Stemilt World Famous Fruit brand BB #:113654.
Family-owner of Douglas Fruit, David Douglas, and family-owner President of Goose Ridge, Bill Monson, say the partnership will be an equal benefit to their family-owned businesses and Stemilt.
“The Douglas and Monson families have known each other and been friends for 50 years,” says Douglas. “We share the same philosophies and goals as it pertains to our respective family farming operations and are conveniently located near one another in the Tri Cities area of Washington state.”
Both Douglas and Monson families are well-regarded for their high-quality fruit and modern growing techniques. They pay special attention to natural resources and weather conditions which allow them to produce fresh and flavorful fruit. The proximity of Goose Ridge orchards and Douglas Fruit storing and packing facilities align with their joint goals of freshness and fruit quality.
“We saw Goose Ridge as a great fit for us in terms of proximity, varietal mix, quality and timing,” says Douglas. “The Monson farms are in the Columbia Basin within 15 miles of the warehouse. The varietal mix, the quality and the volume align with our capacities and the desired manifest for Stemilt to market.”
Goose Ridge will bring 860 acres of apples and approximately 50,000 bins to Douglas Fruit for the 2023 crop year. Once orchards are in full production, they aim to bring 75,000 bins of conventional Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, Cosmic Crisp and Pink Lady apples to Douglas Fruit.
Furthermore, this growth enhances Stemilt’s inventory efficiencies, freshness and massive scale, of more than 15 million boxes of apples, with only 3 points of distribution; Hansen Fruit in Yakima, Douglas Fruit in Pasco and Stemilt in Wenatchee.
“We’re really excited to be working with the Douglas and Mathison families,” says Monson. “Bill Douglas fed cattle with Arvid Monson in the 80’s when they were operating a feedlot in Sunnyside. We’ve been working on this project to partner with them now for the last 4 years. We all have a lot in common in the way we do business. We believe in family-owned and the commitment to delighting consumers with flavor and freshness; that’s a big part of us partnering with Douglas Fruit and Stemilt.”
Stemilt is a family-owned grower, packer, and shipper of tree fruit. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt’s mission is to cultivate people and delight consumers through excellence with its World Famous Fruits. Stemilt is a leader in sweet cherries and organic tree fruits, and a key supplier of apples and pears. The company stewards an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible business through its Responsible Choice® program, which has been in place since 1989. For more information about Stemilt, visit www.stemilt.com.