Moses Lake, WASHINGTON (October 6, 2022) – The heart of Washington State's apple country witnessed a historic moment on September 27 as Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF), the creators of Arctic® apples, unveiled its groundbreaking, state-of-the-art apple processing facility in Moses Lake, Washington.
This remarkable 110,000 sq. ft. facility is not just a building; it's a testament to the future of apple processing. With the power to process more than 50 million pounds of apples per year thanks to cutting-edge technology and visionary design, OSF has ushered in a new era for the industry.
Adjacent to this technological marvel, a controlled-atmosphere storage facility is rapidly taking shape, set to be completed in early 2024. Once fully built, the company can store, process, and pack more than 100,000 bins of Arctic apples. The campus is located 30 minutes from OSF's Arctic apple orchards.
"We've redefined what it means to process apples in North America," beams Neal Carter, the Founder and President of OSF. "Our Moses Lake facility is a game-changer in efficiency and bringing us closer to our orchards. When the Controlled Atmosphere facility is finished, every step from the orchard to the package of Arctic apples will happen right here."
The grand opening of this visionary facility attracted more than 150 industry luminaries, local dignitaries, and esteemed guests, all eager to witness a revolution in motion. Attendees were treated to tours of the facility and a visit to OSF's nearby Arctic apple orchards. OSF employees were on hand, providing insight into the facility's modern design and answering questions from intrigued guests.
The facility, strategically located within the new Moses Lake Commerce Center adjacent to Grant County International Airport, is expected to employ over 100 individuals initially, potentially expanding its workforce as technology and demand continue to play a pivotal role. These employees will work seamlessly with advanced technology, guiding apples from bin to bag with a level of precision and care that's truly unprecedented.
"We are unwavering in our commitment to delivering the finest product while maintaining the highest standards of employee and food safety," emphasizes Don Westcott, Senior Vice President at Okanagan Specialty Fruits. "We are excited to be part of the Moses Lake Community."
Okanagan Specialty Fruits' 1,250 acres of Washington-grown Arctic Fuji, Arctic Golden, and Arctic Granny apples are fueling this marvel. Arctic Gala will be the next variety for the company, followed by Arctic Honey and Arctic Pink. What sets Arctic apples apart is their remarkable ability to stay orchard-fresh for up to 28 days, making them a favorite in schools, restaurants, convenience stores, and retail outlets alike.
As one of America's most beloved fruits, apples have found a fresh, exciting twist with pre-sliced Arctic apples. According to Rebecca Catlett, Director of Marketing & Communications at OSF, these innovative slices are revolutionizing the industry.
"For the first time, restaurateurs, schools, and more can eliminate the hassle, risks, and labor costs of on-site slicing, all without compromising flavor and quality," Catlett enthuses. "With Arctic apple slices staying fresh after slicing, they're a game-changer for both foodservice professionals and their customers."
To catch an exclusive glimpse of the revolutionary Okanagan Specialty Fruits processing facility in action, don't miss the video tour at the company's booth (381) during the International Fresh Produce Association's (IFPA) Global Perishable Food Expo (GPFS) in Anaheim, CA next month.
About Okanagan Specialty Fruits & Arctic Apples
Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) is a vertically integrated company specializing in developing, growing, processing, and marketing novel tree fruit varieties developed through bioengineering and other molecular tools. Based in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada, OSF was founded in 1996 and acquired by an affiliate of Third Security, LLC in 2020. OSF's flagship product is its nonbrowning Arctic apples. Arctic apples provide a sustainable solution to less food waste and improved apple consumption. All Arctic apples are grown in Washington state. For consumer information, visit www.arcticapples.com; for company information and partnership opportunities, visit www.osfruits.com..