An economic analysis of the elements that affect the success of marketing apples in the Appalachian apple belt

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Virginia and West Virginia, two states in the Appalachian Apple Belt, were selected for study during the 1957-1958 Apple Marketing Season to determine what factors influence the price growers receive for their apples and their problems of selling.

Data were collected from three sources actual sales records from the grower-packer, a grower-packer survey, and a buyer-handler survey.

The factors studied that exerted the greatest influence on the prices the growers received per bushel for their apples were grade, variety and pack. However, other factors were also exerting a significant influence on the price, such as size of grower-packer, location of firm in the area, grading standards used, time of sale, actual size of the fruit and the method used to size the fruit, and the types of buyer-handlers who purchased the fruit.

It was also noted that the buyer-handlers of apples were looking for suppliers of fruit who were reputable dealers, who could offer good quality apples and who were flexible enough in their operations to comply with the requirements of the trade.

The difficulties grower-packers encounter in moving their product is a result of their failure to adjust their operations to the innovations and technological advancements of our dynamic economy.