Chelsea Van Acker and Tenley Fitzgerald of Yes! Apples Discuss Recent Operational Growth
GLENMONT, NY - When some people think of New York, they imagine a vast concrete jungle and the perfect bite of pizza; when I think of New York, I think of Yes! Apples and the delicious fruit that it continuously brings to the hands of consumers. Harnessing cutting-edge innovations and sustainable solutions, the apple supplier is focused on growth in all aspects of its operations.
“We’re placing a heavy focus on fruit quality through the supply chain. This means increased effort in managing the growing season, harvest, and storage. We look at new technologies in all of these categories to help us predict our crop to provide more accurate estimates to our retailers,” says Chelsea Van Acker, Food Safety and Grower Relations Manager, detailing how the company has adopted new innovations to continue driving the apple category forward. “We’ve also been involved in many new managed varieties to help find the next best piece of fruit for the consumer. Our involvement ranges from small test plots to planting many new acres of a variety to bring to a large population of people.”
Yes! Apples focuses on sustainable practices from the farm all the way to the consumer, making strong efforts to reduce its water and plastic usage and lower its carbon footprint. These efforts also include identifying new efficiencies to keep its costs as low as possible, allowing the company to continue providing a high-quality piece of fruit while passing along savings to its consumers.
“As an organization and network of growers, we seek out and make continuous improvements that lessen negative impacts on the environment,” notes Tenley Fitzgerald, Vice President of Marketing. “We believe that growing apples must benefit the people as much as it helps the land, and we want to work with Mother Nature, not against her.”
With grower and packer partners located in key growing regions across New York, the provider is within good proximity of its Northeast and East Coast customers, allowing it to reduce its food miles and further optimize trucking efficiencies.
Yes! Apples’ sustainability strategies are also evident through its packaging, as the company’s new plastic bags are now made with up to 5 percent less plastic, and its new cardboard boxes are fully recyclable. The Yes! Apples boxes carried by Costco support the supplier’s partnership with 1% for the Planet and benefit The Giving Grove and National Young Farmers Coalition. This fall, Yes! Apples will launch updated paper totes made from recyclable and compostable paper.
Demonstrated by its focus on sustainability and category innovation, Yes! Apples has a strong set of values that directly aligns with the quality of the product it provides—a product that makes an undeniable mark on consumers’ taste buds.
“When you open the box and smell the apples, then bite into one and experience the crispness and the taste, the response is overwhelmingly positive. People get excited!” Tenley exclaims. “The taste of a New York-grown apple is truly unique—much different from what consumers might be used to.”
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