[nafex] complaints about taxpayer funded "club" varieties

Michael Dossett phainopepla at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 20 17:26:34 EDT 2014


Matt, any idea what the country of origin was?  That sounds to me like it is likely to be a broker/marketer problem rather than the grower or packer.  If it's from the northern hemisphere, putting it in storage and expecting it to be in decent shape after 11 months is a tall order for most apples, and there is a fair bit of fruit to fruit variability in terms of exactly how ripe they were when they were picked for how quickly they fall apart after coming out of storage.  Something may be passable on the day you buy it and be complete garbage a week later.  Not to mention there is no telling how long it has been sitting out of storage in the store before it even comes home with you.  Personally, I would not buy any apples from the store this time of year until the new crop starts rolling in.  My wife bought some Granny Smith a week or so ago to put on her oatmeal and was shocked to find that the seeds were starting to sprout inside the apple.  I
 told her that's what happens when it's been in controlled atmosphere storage for 11 months and that she should wait another month.  You can slow down the process of the flesh breaking down, but that doesn't mean it's going to be in decent shape after that long.  Nature just didn't intend them that way!
 
Michael

Michael Dossett
Mission, British Columbia
www.Mdossettphoto.com
phainopepla at yahoo.com 


On Wednesday, August 20, 2014 2:10 PM, Matt Demmon <mdemmon at gmail.com> wrote:
  


That is very interesting about Pink Lady. No restrictions on growing, but having to meet certain quality standards to buy into the brand. I would like that if it actually guaranteed good apples.
 
I bought some Pink Lady from a small grocer last week that were terrible, truly distinctly awful, mushy and flavorless. I wonder if they paid their license fee. Generally they are quite good for a grocery store apple. 

-matt
z5 SE MI



On Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 4:55 PM, Michael Dossett via nafex <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org> wrote:

Melissa,
> 
>Protecting brand recognition is also part of it, though it is secondary to managing supply.  There are several cases where brand protection has been attempted in apples through the use of trademarked names rather than limiting supply (in addition to quality) by buying into the club.  For example, Pink Lady is the trademarked name for Cripp's Pink.  Pink Lady sells for a slightly higher price in the store because of the brand premium, but growers have to pay a licensing fee to be able market their fruit as Pink Lady and are contractually only allowed to market the high quality product that way.  Lower quality apples may still be sold, but must be sold/marketed as Cripp's Pink.  This protects the brand, but does little to manage supply and demand when people realize that they are the same variety.  There is even an instance of rebranding where an apple was sold under one trademarked name and was a flop because of poor quality in the marketplace, so
> they trademarked a second name and began marketing fruit under the new name, where it was slightly more successful but still never really took off.  Wish I could remember what it was off the top of my head - I may have to do some digging to figure it out.
> 
>I guess for home gardeners the net result is the same, and it is an unfortunate trend. The days of publically released varieties are quickly coming to an end and even non club cultivars of a variety of fruits are often difficult to obtain because of license restrictions.  I suppose the only consolation is that if it is truly a fantastic variety, it will have staying power and will still be around and will be more available after the patent has expired.
>
> 
>Michael
> 
>
>Michael Dossett
>Mission, British Columbia
>http://www.mdossettphoto.com/
>phainopepla at yahoo.com
>
>
>
>On Wednesday, August 20, 2014 1:06 PM, Melissa Kacalanos via nafex <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org> wrote:
>
>
>
>It was my understanding that the club varieties are about protecting the brand name recognition of certain apple varieties. To qualify as a member of the club, apple farmers don't just pay a licensing fee, but commit to selling fruit only of a high enough quality to keep the public convinced that apples of that variety are worth their premium price. The farmers have to meet some standards of thinning, picking only when actually ripe, proper storage, and so on.
>
>Since protecting the perception of their brand name is a major goal, I can understand why breeders don't want just anyone selling apples by these trademarked names. It only takes a few badly-grown apples for consumers to lose faith in the superiority of these trademarked names. And I'm sure they don't want any wormy backyard amateur apples sullying the good names of these carefully megafarmed varieties.
>
>But don't worry, I'm sure these varieties will become available to everyone as soon as the breeders come up with the latest varieties to replace them with.
>
>Melissa
>
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