Washington, DC – As part of her ongoing commitment to help New York’s farmers, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today introduced legislation that would help New York apple growers streamline operations and save money. The bill, endorsed by New York Apple Association and U.S. Apple Association, would exempt bulk shipments of U.S. apples to Canada from inspection required by the Apple Export Act, offering growers immediate savings of approximately $300 per truckload, and allowing 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. This bill would ease burdensome regulations and allow our apple producers to streamline operations, cut costs and continue to grow their businesses.”
Last year, more than 1.5 million bushels of New York apples were exported to Canada. Every year, 1,500 trucks each export close to 1,000 bushels of apples to Canada, so the inspection exemption would save growers close to $450,000 annually. In addition, the exemption would expedite the exportation process of more than 500,000 bushels of apples from New York to other countries by freeing up staffers to perform the required inspections on exports to other countries.
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. Currently, the Department of Agriculture requires the inspection of all apple exports under the Apple and Pear Export Act of 1933. In 1999, the law was changed to exclude pears. A similar version of the bill was introduced in the House last month by Congressman Bill Owens (NY-23).