Apple Line Tour

Apple Line Tour

Columbia Fruit Packers, Inc. apples are packed with care.

Take the journey an apple goes on once it's picked fresh from the orchard. From picking, sizing, drying to packing, there are many steps to bring quality fruit to the consumer. Columbia Fruit Packers, Inc. makes sure that the highest level of care is taken with every step.

Apples in orchard

The orchards are where our success begins. The apples start coming into bloom in May. and the earliest varieities are ready to be picked in August.

Apples in bins

Once they are picked they are placed into bins. Columbia fruit packers uses both wood and plastic bins. Each full bin can weigh on average anywhere from 800 to 1000 net pounds.

Full apples bins

Once bins are full, they will be loaded onto trucks and delivered to the apple receiving station. At this point fruit is unloaded and placed in a storage room. Tickets are generated for the grower and a sample is done. The fruit then can be stored for a day or up to 10 months depending on the qualification of the room.

Apple line

The shift starts when the control panel gives off a buzz and the line begins to run. The apple line typically consists of two shifts, the morning and the night shift.

Apples in washer

Once the bins of apples are dumped they travel through the water until they come to sorting tables. This is where a crew of people examine the apples for any defects.

Apples being sorted

Once an apple passes the sorting table they are back on the line and then get sorted mechanically by size and color.

Apples on line

The apples then pass into the final stage of the line where they are transported to the correct sizing/grade area and are packed into the correct pack type.

Apples boxes on line

The boxes are passed along the top of the line.

Inspecting apples

CMI has quality control people who will sample and test the fruit that has been packed to ensure that only top quality fruit will go out the door.

Apples packed

The final stage of packing. Apples can be packed into many different pack types, ranging from bags, clams, trays, gift packs, etc.

Apples in boxes

Here is an example of boxes that are ready to be shipped. Our boxes and pack types can be seen on the Columbia Marketing International (CMI) web site.