Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the President’s Export Council and member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Charles E. Schumer today urged the Farm Bill Conference Committee to keep a measure in the final Farm Bill that would exempt bulk shipments of apples to Canada from inspection. Fixing this would help New York apple growers streamline operations and save money. Exempting bulk shipments of U.S. apples to Canada from inspection required by the Apple Export Act would offer growers immediate savings of approximately $300 per truckload, and allow growers to create their own distribution schedules, eliminating costly after-hours inspection procedures.
“New York State is home to some of the world’s best apples and hardest working growers,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Our farmers play a vital role in the economic development and food security of the state. The inspection of our apples to Canada is an impediment to New York apple exporters. The elimination of the expensive and unnecessary second inspection would put money back in our local growers’ pockets.”
“Upstate New York apple producers are at the core of our Upstate New York economy, and this plan to exempt bulk apple shipments from a second inspection before heading to Canada makes good common sense,” said Senator Schumer. “We must do all we can to protect our farmers from onerous and unnecessary costs, and I am urging my colleagues on the Farm Bill Conference Committee to keep this measure in the final bill.”
The Apple and Pear Export Act of 1933 requires that all exported apples are inspected. However, pears have been excluded from the law since 1999. The elimination of apples from this antiquated law would enable apple farmers to have more control over their work schedules and would eliminate expensive after-hours inspection procedures.
With nearly 2.5 million bushels of apples exported to Canada annually, this amendment to the current law could save U.S. apple growers over $550,000 annually by allowing apple growers to distribute apple products on their own schedule saving valuable time and resources by avoiding onerous after-hours inspection procedures.
New York is the second highest producer of apples, behind Washington State. In 2010, New York produced 1.26 billion pounds of apples, generating approximately $227 million in revenue.
The Senators letter is attached.