FirstFruits Farms and Applewood Orchards Join Forces
A Transformational Partnership Between Washington and Michigan Apple Growers
Yakima, WA December 20, 2023 – FirstFruits Farms, a leading name in the tree fruit sector, is thrilled to announce the successful acquisition of Applewood Orchards and Applewood Fresh Growers. This merger marks a significant milestone in the company’s continuous pursuit of excellence and expansion.
Working jointly, FirstFruits Farms and Applewood Orchards aim to provide their customers with even more remarkable and diverse product offerings, including apples, cherries and pears. This collaboration not only bolsters volume capabilities, but also enhances the ability to serve customers in the Midwest and East Coast with certain freight advantages, supply chain efficiencies and transit time reductions.
“We are excited to welcome Applewood Fresh and Applewood Orchards into the FirstFruits Farms family,” said Chuck Zeutenhorst, Vice President of FirstFruits Marketing. “This acquisition aligns perfectly with our mission to provide top tier produce and service to our customers while embracing innovation and growth opportunities.”
One of the key highlights of this acquisition is the expanded offering of new club apple varieties, specific to Applewood Orchards. Aside from growing key retail varietals, Applewood Orchards also grows new varieties, such as Rave, SweeTango®, Ambrosia, and EverCrisp®.
This merger expands the opportunity and scope of both companies to serve their unique customer base, while also working together with the customers the two companies share coast to coast.
Applewood Orchards, operated by the Swindeman family, has built a strong reputation over the decades as a high-quality grower and packer in eastern Michigan. The company’s roots run deep in Michigan, dating back to 1935.
“Applewood Orchards has built a strong reputation for its dedication and passion to grow, pack, and deliver high-quality fresh apples,” says Scott Swindeman, Applewood Fresh Growers. “Our family’s commitment over the years to innovative growing methods, sustainability, and community aligns seamlessly with the values at FirstFruits Farms. This is a great match, which strengthens both companies.”
The acquisition also includes the Swindeman family’s partnership in Elite Packing, which is located in Sparta, Michigan.