Sales Tip Scales for Eco Apple Growers

Crates of apples

The Eco Apple brand brings consumers closer to their food with a terrific video in which family farm owners explain how hard work, a conscientious outlook, and research-based knowledge underpin their farm’s success. Land-grant expertise and IPM strategies are crucial to their farming approach, as is the loyalty of local consumers who, as Eco Apple’s slogan says, “trust the farmer, know the farm, and LOVE the fruit.”

Growers, scientists, and marketers have successfully boosted the market for IPM-grown apples through their collaborations in the Northeast. With IPM Partnership funds and leadership from a nonprofit called Red Tomato, the multistate “Eco Apple” working group saw sales grow nearly five-fold over a three-year period.

What was the strategy? The group emphasized what makes Eco Apples special: locally grown products, superior quality control, and the use of advanced IPM techniques based on in-depth protocols.

Aggressive promotion by Red Tomato’s dedicated staff has been key, supported by a website, IPM video, brochures, and retail display materials. Distribution involves consolidating products from 13 growers into coordinated customer deliveries.

Since the working group was funded in 2006, the number of participating growers has doubled and sales continue to soar:

2005: $400,000
18,000 cases
2006: $643,000
25,000 cases
2007: $1.47 million
59,400 cases
2008: $1.92 million
86,876 cases


The Northeastern IPM Center promotes integrated pest management for reducing risks to human health and the environment. If republishing our news, please acknowledge the source (“From Northeast IPM Insights”) along with a link to our website.