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United Apple Sales 116 years young and still growing

With a living legacy spanning well over a century, it is only natural to look back on the foundation that began with the Dobbins family in 1905.  The original farm was a 100-acre plot that firmly established ag roots and spawned the growth of the company that has since evolved into United Apple Sales based in Lyndonville, NY.

Ward Dobbins, a fourth-generation apple grower who has led the organization over the past 40 years, commented that the examples set by family members established a culture that has carried the company’s growth into new areas.    

“My dad, Howard “Bud” Dobbins, instilled the core values of teamwork, honesty, integrity, and innovation that he learned from his parents and grandparents.  We in turn took these principles and carried them forward, which has helped guide us in developing new capabilities and markets,” said Dobbins.

United Apple Sales is a now a worldwide marketer of apples, pears and cherries with operations in the domestic Northeast, Washington state, and international supply partners in the Southern hemisphere.

As an integrated produce company, United has comprehensive programs that combine its own growing operations with import and export capabilities to offer full-year supply assurance to retailers, wholesalers and canning and juicing companies. 

Long Term Vision

Competing in the ever-changing produce business requires a skill set that extends beyond the traditional scope of agriculture.  United Apple President, Brett Baker, indicated “We literally see the fruits of our labor every day as we walk the orchards and run our high-tech packing facilities.  The real challenge is to look out over the next 10 – 15 years, assess opportunities, and make resource commitments now for longer-term return on investments,” Baker shared.

United has consistently invested in new technology including automated touchless packing lines, advanced Controlled Atmosphere units, sensor-guided orchard spraying systems, and the development of new sustainable packaging.

The science part of the equation is also a key aspect of United’s ongoing commitment to the future.  In conjunction with leading varietal development initiatives, United is one of a few domestic growers to feature three new consumer favorites: EverCrisp, RubyFrost and SnapDragon. 

“New varieties are exciting but also require a lot of work to reach desired quality, consistency and ultimately, sustainable volumes.  It prompts a balancing act with existing orchards to support known winners and develop a plan for prospective future stars.  There is a lot of science but also some intuition and qualitative confidence to find success with new varieties to share with our retail partners,” said Baker.

Expanded Product Line

In establishing long-term relationships with leading retailers, United has created opportunities to broaden its role as a supplier of regional apples. Its network has expanded to include growers in Washington, Argentina, Chile and New Zealand as the program offers apples, pears and cherries to create year-round supplies of consumer favorite varieties.

“We seek out relationships with growers who share our passion for growing the highest quality produce.  This has opened the door for many partnerships both domestically and internationally as we have expanded our reach while maintaining our mission to grow the healthiest and most flavorful fruit,” noted Baker.

Because Local Matters

This program was created to further advance United’s comprehensive commitment to bring locally grown fruit to consumers and markets across North America. With operations in NY and packing partners in GA, MI, PA, OR, and WA, United Apple brings local apples, pears and cherries to retailers that want to buy from the farmers who literally work the orchards and utilize   sustainable farming practices.

“We support our comprehensive network of local growers and their families in packing the freshest fruit for our retail and processing partners. This strengthens their  “buy local” initiatives and efforts to reduce miles to markets. 

“For us, it is an extension of the community-based focus that our founding families used to support local workers, nearby neighbors and businesses to build a strong and sustainable agricultural economy,” mentioned Baker.

For information about United Apple Sales and its apple, pear or cherry programs, please contact President, Brett Baker at 716-579-2643 or brett@unitedapplesales.com or visit unitedapplesales.com.

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