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|Articles - September 2010|
|Friday, August 20, 2010|
A free-trade agreement with South Korea could help Oregon’s blueberry market bounce back from the depths of 2009.
The total volume of blueberries produced in Oregon has increased almost every year since 2003, but the value of the crop has not. In 2007, 44.7 million pounds of blueberries were harvested in Oregon, and the industry was valued at almost $65 million. The production volume in 2009 was 47.2 million pounds, but the value of the blueberries was only $37 million.
The foreign market is extremely important to blueberry growers. Almost 21 million pounds of the blueberries produced in 2009 went to the fresh market. “We need that export market. We just don’t have the population to consume all that we produce,” says Bruce Pokarney, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Agriculture. The Republic of Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement is pending Congressional approval; it would eliminate tariffs on several agricultural products. Agricultural exports from Oregon, Washington and California to South Korea totaled more than $5.5 billion in 2009, but fresh blueberries were not among the exports.
This year’s cold winter and heavy rains during the blooming period were hard on Oregon blueberry producers. The total volume produced was less than projected, but could still be more than 50 million pounds, says Bryan Ostlund of the Oregon Blueberry Commission.
Blueberries are marketed as a superfood around the world, but their consumption in Eastern Asia is particularly high. Oregon blueberry producers are excited about the South Korea opportunity. If the market does not expand with the growing production volumes, Oregon blueberry producers will have more to worry about than cold weather.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
As part of our green workplaces story, Oregon Business checked out a community service project undertaken by Portland Youth Builders, a nonprofit alternative high school. In partnership with Whole Foods, PYB built garden boxes for a Home Forward housing site. Home Forward is a government agency that provides housing for low income residents and people with disabilities.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Oregon Business celebrated the 100 Best Green Workplaces with an awards luncheon yesterday at the Nines Hotel in downtown Portland.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy. “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
As the recession recedes and tourism grows, Central Oregon resorts redefine themselves for a new generation.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
The right sunglasses can protect your eyes and look cool at the same time. This being the 21st century, select shades are socially conscious, too. Portland brand Shwood uses wood and other natural materials and manufactures locally. Founded by Ann Sacks, the brand Fetch dedicates a portion of its profits to animal welfare. But whether you choose classic tortiseshell or aviator chic, please, shed the sunglasses when you walk in the door — and, of course, at night.
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