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Washington apple growers Rainier Fruit, Allan Bros Fruits add new packing line


February 5, 2020
By Fruit and Vegetable

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The new packing line will allow for more "demand-based packing." Photo courtesy of Rainier Fruit.

Rainier Fruit, a fruit company based in Selah, Wash., and Allan Bros., a partner in production, recently invested in a $35-million apple packing facility.

Allan Bros. Fruits, also based in the Yakima Valley region of Eastern Washington, has been a Rainer partner since 1995 and specializes in growing apple varieties such as Honeycrisp, Envy, Jazz and Pink Lady. The company recently invested in the new packing line that includes a hybrid line which maximizes output by using its capability of pre-sizing fruit.

According to Allan Bros, the new line allows for a reduction of fruit handling and labour which in turn avoids bruising or damaging the fruit.

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The technology also includes proprietary operational analytics software and Compac LED colour and defect sorting, as well as near infrared internal imaging which helps gather additional information on every apple.

“Our new packing warehouse and line will equip us with predictive analytics and very precise handling of our fruit,” said Miles Kohl, Allan Bros. Fruits CEO. “We inaugurated the new facility and modern technology with the fall harvest and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the results that are yielding new efficiencies in our final outputs.”

Allan Bros. and in turn Rainier Fruit, say this upgrade will allow both companies to “keep up with the needs of the ever-changing apple category and the demands for custom packs that drive retail sales opportunities.”

“Our customers around the world are asking for more on demand services and these past few years we’ve accepted that challenge to make capital improvements that are some of the best in the world and on-trend with the expectations of new packs and new varieties,” said Andy Tudor, vice president of business development for Rainier Fruit, in a released statement.

Rainier Fruit is a multi-generation, vertically integrated fruit company based in Selah, Wash. growing apples, pears, cherries and blueberries.