Strong market for stored apples

In August 2019, Hudson River Fruit Distributors, headquartered in Milton, NY, anticipated that the apple crop being harvested was good in both volume and quality. That projection was accurate. Alisha Albinder-Camac, director of operations and a fourth-generation Albinder family member to help to oversee the company’s operations, said that the good news extends to the condition of the company’s stored apples.

“We have strong holdings in the popular varieties like Gala, Fuji, McIntosh, SnapDragon and RubyFrost,” said Albinder-Camac. “That is very good news because the market is strong for eastern apples, and we are seeing increases in sales of the new varieties; SnapDragon and RubyFrost. This year we will be carrying SnapDragon throughout the winter months along with RubyFrost that just recently launched in the market.”

HUDSONMW121917AG 095 Hudson River Fruit Distributors handles all popular apple varieties to keep its customers supplied with those they need to satisfy consumer desires. In keeping with its continual growth and evolvement, the company purchased an apple orchard which previously separated two adjacent orchards which the company already owned. Albinder-Camac said the three farms are now one large orchard.

Last spring the company planted Premier Honeycrisp — which ripens as much as two to three weeks before the regular Honeycrisp — and EverCrisp varieties on the newly purchased property.

“We have basically doubled our production of the SnapDragon variety,” she pointed out. “And we look forward to increasing production of others including Fuji and RubyFrost varieties in the future. These have all grown strongly in popularity and demand.”

Overall, the company planted 20,000 new trees on its orchards in the past year. The fruit from these trees will be ready for harvesting in a few years. In addition to the aforementioned, it also planted EverCrisp and Honeycrisp apple varieties. Hudson River Fruit offers both conventional and organic apples, and it utilizes integrated pest management. And it works closely with its always expanding grower-partner base.

“We consistently work toward increasing our efficiencies,” pointed out Albinder-Camac. Hudson River Fruit Distributors had its start in 1932 when Isadore (Izzy) Albinder immigrated to the United States from Russia. When he arrived in New York he recognized an opportunity to broker fresh produce. He bought a pushcart and began selling on the neighborhood streets of Brooklyn.

As time passed, he began having trouble finding apples that he considered high enough quality, and so decided to venture up to the Hudson Valley to source the produce directly. He began fostering relationships with apple growers, some of whom Hudson River Fruit Distributors continues to work with today. The company bought its first orchard in 1967 in order to have better control of the apples it sold.

Izzy’s son, Harold Albinder, who is affectionately called “Chief,” followed in his father’s footsteps and was persistent in all his endeavors. He took many calculated risks to build the business to what it is today. Now age 81, he is still active in the business. The third generation, Dan Albinder, picked up the gavel at an early age and continues to oversee its operations today.

The past year was additionally notable for the Albinder family. On July 24 it welcomed its fifth-generation family member into the world when Albinder-Camac and her husband, Jesse Camac, welcomed their son, Cayden Joseph Camac, into the world. Jesse was introduced as “The Cutest Apple in the Orchards.”

Today, Hudson River Fruit is recognized as a leading New York apple producer. It distributes its apples as far west as Wisconsin and south to Florida.

“We are not exporting this year due to our strong domestic demand,” said Albinder-Camac.

The company will celebrate 57 years in business this year. Growing in both generations and in apple sales, the future for Hudson River Fruit Distributors looks very bright.

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