The grow process is just the beginning! Once a fowler apple is ready to be picked, it begins a closely controlled process that assures it’s safe, bruise-free arrival to our customers! Each step plays an integral part in maintaining our extremely high standards of quality, which helps set us apart from other apple growers.
Step 1: Traceability
The first step in assuring the highest quality apples begins before the first spring blossom. Every row of trees is labeled with trace of origins to be tracked until the apple is picked. Once picked, the apples are packed in a box with the packer’s identification number for further tracking. The apples are then placed into cartons with barcodes indicating the variety, lot and packing date.
Step 2: Sorting
Along with indispensable sorters, we use technology that takes 70 photos of each and every apple, every .16 seconds. The photos indicate subtle external defects, as well as the color intensity of the skins. Each apple is then weighed to within 1 gram to determine its count size. Sorting is based on color, size and weight, and is used to eliminate any defects.
Step 3: Handling
We are committed to a handling process that ensures our apples stay blemish-free. Our orchard and packinghouse vehicles are equipped with special tires, and the driveway is kept smooth for careful transportation. Our hydro-feed line has also been found virtually bruise-free by sophisticated testing equipment, and all apple packing trays are redundantly cushioned.
We believe that an apple isn’t truly delicious unless it looks just as good as it tastes!
Step 4: Storage
There is a year-round demand for fresh apples. At Fowler Farms, we use controlled atmosphere (CA) storage rooms with an ultra low oxygen environment. Our CA rooms keep apples tasting just like the day they were picked, for up to an entire year! CA rooms stay within tight tolerances, while providing an ongoing storage protocol for each apple variety.