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Fruit Export to California., Issue 7925, 5 June 1889
Fruit Export to California.
The Now Zealand 'Herald's' San Francisco correspondent, writing on May 5, gives a large amount of interesting informamation on the subject of the probable market to be found in America for our fruits. He says: "The question of San Francisco fruit supply is receiving serious consideration. This may at first glance seem surprising, for it is well known that California is one of the largest fruit-pro-ducing districts in the world. _ The present season bears evidence of being one of the most prolific in all branches of agriculture. It is conceded even by the most conservative that California will produce fully 50,000 tons of fresh fruit for export this season. Last year the shipments to the East alone by rail amounted to 2!">,000 tons of fresh fruit, the value of which was nearly two millions of dollars. The value of the green fruit consumed in the States is placed at two and a-half million dollars. An output of 75,000,000 pounds of dried fruit is expected this season, besides canned fruit to the value of four millions of dollars, and citrus fruits to almost a similar value." Tho total value of the fruit crop of California this year is set down as representing a value of 25,000,000d01, but yet it is stated that fruit is dear in San Francisco, and that obtainable in the market is not of the best. The best fruit is sent by rail to the East, and the next best is canned, until (as tho correspondent says) " what might almost be considered the waste product is dumped on the San Francisco market." The price of really good fruit is enormous, and it is unobtainable by the general public. Californian fruit is also said to be deficient in flavor as compared with that grown in New Zealand. The correspondent interviewed a large dealer, Mr 1). G. Camarinos, who was strongly of opinion that there would be a good market for apples, oranges, and lemons from the colony if they were properly packed. On this - latter point he said, speaking of colonial growers—"They know the sort of boxes that we use, and they must use the Bame. Eacb box contains from 501b to 551b of friiit. It roust be carefully picked at the latest possible rnoment before shipping. It must be carefully handled, and each fruit wrapped separately in tissue paper. Newspaper will not do. If the fruit is roughly thrown into a box it will become bruised, and gets rotten before arriving here. We must have it in good condition, or it is no üße to send it." Good apples of uniform size, properly packed, should reach San Francisco from February to July, when at least they would realise from 2dol to 3dol per box of 501b or 551b. Lfebon lemons would be in demand all the year round at from Udol to 2dol per 100. At present the market is supplied from Sicily via New York. Oranges would be in demand from May to October, and would command from lidol to .Idol per 100, if well packed. With regard to the cost of reaching the market, Mr Camarinos says : " Freight must be arranged with the steamship company, and that lands the fruit on the wharf. It will cost from 2c to 3c a box for cartage ; the Custom-house broker's fee is 2Jjdol on each consignment, and, if there is no duty, then there is no extra expense beyond commission for selling them. The commission charged by reliable houses that will remit all the proceeds is 8 per cent." From the fruit dealer the ' Herald's ' correspondent went to Messrs J. D. Sprecklesßros., the contractors for the San Francisco mail service, by whom he was assured that they would give a very low freight rate in order to promote the fruit trade from the colonies and induce shipments. It is believed that all charges upon a consignment of fruit, say 1,000 cases, would not exceed .Is per case, and would probably be less. In conclusion, tho correspondent adds that if any New Zealand grower likes to send a sample box of fruit to to him, or to Messrs Spreckles Bros., it will he carried free of charge, and Bhown to the trade to elicit the real value. Some of the best varieties of apples grown in the colonies, such as the ribston pippin, golden Harvey, nonpariel, pearmain, stone pippin, and French crab, all of which would travel well, are unknown in San Francisco.
A correspondent of the 'New Zealand Herald' endorses the view that there is a good opening for New Zealand fruit, properly packed and sent at the suitable season, in the San Francisco market. He states that a very much larger quantity of fruit is eaten by the average American than the average Englishman. It is even plentifully used at breakfast; and "in California," he says, "no breakfast table is regarded as complete unless there is a bountiful supply of fruit."
Fruit Export to California., Issue 7925, 5 June 1889
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