Kevin Moffitt, president and CEO of Pear Bureau Northwest, has been named president of the World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA). Moffitt has been actively involved with WAPA since its inception, most recently serving a two-year term in the role of vice president. At the organization’s annual meeting in Berlin earlier this month, he was designated as president for a two-year term, succeeding Alessandro Dalpiaz of Assomela in Italy. Peter Beaven of Pipfruit New Zealand was named vice president.
This year marks the 10-year anniversary for the organization, which was founded in 2001 to provide a forum for apple and pear producing countries around the globe. The organization facilitates communication and collaboration for the common good of apple and pear producers, working to boost global consumption of these fruits while also increasing profitability to producers.
“WAPA’s members share a common goal of increasing global consumption of apples and pears, and I look forward to helping advance that mission by bridging communication between fellow members for the good of the world apple and pear industry,” Moffitt commented about the value of this appointment. “WAPA serves as an important point of reference for the industry, collecting and distributing valuable information and resources for its members.”
2011 is a landmark year for WAPA for reasons other than its 10-year anniversary. For the first time in the organization’s history, a representative from China attended the annual meeting, an important first step to strengthening WAPA’s ties with the world’s largest apple and pear producing country.
Philippe Binard, WAPA’s secretary, commented on Moffitt’s role as president, “Kevin’s experience in marketing and nutrition will be a great asset for the association, as these issues are increasing priorities on WAPA’s agenda. Also, WAPA has set the first contact with the Chinese industry and hopefully under Kevin’s presidency we will be able to formalize the relationship with China.”
The WAPA annual meeting also included a compilation and review of southern hemisphere apple and pear production forecasts along with a review by current stocks in the northern hemisphere. Collected from industry groups in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa, the forecast showed that the 2011 apple and pear southern hemisphere crops are expected to reach 5.2 million metric tons (MT) and 1.5 million MT, respectively. For apples, this represents a small decrease of 1% on the 2010 crop; while forecasted export figures might however increase by 5% to 1.8 million MT. For pears, a significant increase of 10% on the 2010 crop is recorded, and forecasted export figures are also expected to be 5% higher at 827,000 MT.
Hand in hand with the release of these data, the northern nemisphere apple and pear stocks were presented. In January, U.S. apple stocks are down 4% to 1.5 million MT and down 16.7% to 153,000 MT for pears, while European apple and pear stocks are also lower this year, respectively at 3.3 million MT and 563,000 MT, representing a decrease of 12% for apples and 14,5% for pears on stocks compared to the same time last year.