The Washington Apple Commission: Promoting Washington Apples Around the Globe
The primary purpose of the Washington Apple Commission is advertising, promotion, education and market development for the Washington fresh apple crop. Currently no promotions are being implemented in the United States, but our promotions are in place in more than 30 countries where Washington apples are sold.
Initially established in 1937 by the Washington State Legislature as The Washington State Apple Advertising Commission –at the request of the apple industry–we are one of the oldest commodity commissions in the United States.
Under statutory authority, the Commission collects a mandatory assessment levied against all fresh apple shipments. No revenues are received from apples diverted to apple processors for juice, sauce, etc.
The assessment rate is established by a referendum of commercial apple growers in the state, and remains at the same level yearly until changed by growers. Since 1937, growers have increased the assessment 13 times from its original 1 cent per box to as high as 40 cents per 42-lb box. Then in 2003 a lawsuit restructured the Commission and at this time the assessment is 3.5 cents per box.
The Commission has a 14-member board of directors, nine of whom are elected by the apple growers in specified districts and four of whom are elected by the apple shippers and marketers in specified districts. One is the Director of Agriculture. Each Commissioner is elected for a three-year term.
The Commission is considered a governmental agency since it is state-mandated, yet is governed and totally funded by growers under the supervision of the Director of Agriculture who approves the budget and sits on the Board of Directors.