Yakima County Development Association - Washington Fruit Invests In its Future

Jonathan Smith

The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news. 



Washington Fruit Invests In its Future

Washington Fruit Invests In its Future

June 28, 2012

Earlier today our business and industry roundtable group toured Washington Fruit's new state of the art packing plant in Yakima.  We quickly realized that this facility is wholly different than any packing plant out there today.  Our group was wholly impressed with the bright energy efficient lighting, ultra clean floors (walls and ceilings), and high tech equipment throughout the building.   Washington Fruit's Mikie Hanks and Eric Hanses led us on the tour.  They explained that the company designed the facility to address growing food safety and liability issues that are impacting the industry.  By investing in the new facility a couple years ago, Washington Fruit has been able to clearly show its customers that their apples are packed in a secure hygienic manner.  In a world where consumers are increasingly concerned about food safety, Washington Fruit has effectively positioned itself to succeed in an environment where transparency is paramount.

Here are some general facts we learned about the packing facility:

  • The building is 225,000 square feet and Washington Fruit is working to expand its footprint this year;
  • the facility employes 115 full time year round employees;
  • the plant operates 20 hours a day;
  • Washington Fruit can process well over three million apples per day at the plant; and
  • Scanners and tracking equipment can trace every apple packed to its origin. Our group see apples pass through visual inspection equipment

Washington Fruit employs hundreds of people throughout the Yakima Valley and we are fortunate to have them as one of our corporate citizens in Yakima.  The company certainly injects alot of money into our local economy and we also appreciate that they support so many worthwhile community endeavors.  We enjoyed their new facility and know the company is positioned for future success.

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"...a great location; We're able to get product in on time, well within our delivery windows." - Sean Arai, General Manager, Walmart Distribution Center No. 7021