New York apple growers voted to approve the continuation of their industry’s grower-funded $2 million Apple Marketing Order (AMO) program, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (AGM) announced.
AGM asks apple growers every eight years to approve the program through a referendum vote.
“The AMO is critical to promoting New York’s apple industry to both consumers and retail buyers,” State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said. “From high-profile television ads to marketing efforts at the point of sale in the grocery store, the AMO is responsible for encouraging apple sales in the marketplace as well as attracting consumers to visit New York’s farms during harvest season. We are pleased New York’s growers find value in the AMO and look forward to continuing to support the program for years to come.”
The AMO was established in 1959 to provide marketing and promotional activities for the state’s apple industry. In recent years, the AMO has been collecting nearly $2 million in grower assessments annually, which are strictly dedicated to the marketing of New York apples. Regional and national promotions, outreach, and marketing research aimed at increasing the profitability of New York apples is conducted each year based on the recommendations of the state’s AMO Advisory Board, which establishes funding priorities based on the needs of the regions they represent.
“On behalf of the AMO Advisory committee, I would like to thank the New York apple growing community for their support of the Marketing Order,” Ward Dobbins, President of United Apple Sales and H.H. Dobbins and AMO Advisory Board member, said. “With the ongoing challenges that we face in our industry, it is important that we continue to make every effort to professionally represent our products to markets across the United States and the world. I am confident that our industry will continue to expand with the help of the New York Apple Association, and that New York State apples will remain as an important fixture on grocery shelves across the country and beyond.”
Rod Dressel Jr., Co-Owner of Dressel Farms and AMO Advisory Board member, added: “The New York Apple Association (NYAA), funded by the AMO, has provided numerous benefits to the New York apple industry over the years, beyond the obvious marketing and promotions. The NYAA is a member of USApple, making all of us members as well, and it’s because of USApple that the Coronavirus Food Assistance Programs included apples as commodities that could be reimbursed, which I hope many of our growers were able to partake in. I’m pleased to see that the growers in the state recognize the value of this marketing order, and to see where we go from here.”
The AMO is a grower-initiated and funded program, allowing for New York’s apple industry to continue promotional activities each year based on the amount of assessment funds that are collected. Since its inception, the AMO program has been continuously operational.
“The New York Apple Association’s marketing efforts over the last couple of years have led to some phenomenal results,” Cynthia Haskins, President and CEO of the NYAA, said. “We had 55 million consumer impressions through our television, radio, and social media, and our new website has already attracted over 125,000 new website visitors since mid-August. NYAA started an aggressive you-pick destination campaign last year and continued through this apple harvest and we are thrilled with the results. We have established the direct-to-consumer, apple packer/shipper, along with innovation and progression committees to move the New York apple industry forward.”
For additional information on all current Marketing Order programs, including reports and historical background on the AMO, visit https://agriculture.ny.gov/farming/marketing-order-administration.