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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year ending July 1, 1921
Vol. LI (1921)

Goff, M. B.
Marketing of Wisconsin apples,   pp. 81-92 PDF (3.1 MB)


Page 83


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WISCOIJSIN STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY         83
The commission trade has not appreciably developed the con-
suming powers of our country districts for fruit, because it has
been able to make a living without doing so. If Wisconsin people
are to eat Wisconsin apples, you and I as fruit growers will have
to bring them to it. Not only are the rural communities good
customers, but they are scarcely as critical of the goods they re-
ceive, as are the city merchants. The rural trade wants a good
honest pack, whether it be bushel baskets, barrels, or bulk cars,
but it is not willing to pay the added price for the highest grades
we produce. Exclusive of the fancy grades, country people will
pay more for our apples than anyone else on earth. Even the
past year when every man who owned an apple tree had a harvest,
northern and western Wisconsin would have consumed infinitely
more apples than were produced commercially all told in Wiscon-
sin. Outside. of the state, northern Minnesota, and northern
Michigan are within reach of us on the basis of freight rates, and
offer wonderful opportunities.
The advantage of this territory should be plain enough. Freight
rates, high as they are at present, makes it suicide to ship farther
than necessary to find a market. The difficulty of dealing with
firms at a distance makes it necessary to use only the highest
rated houses. Otherwise any contest over the acceptance of a
car, or an arrival in bad order, is costly. From the selling stand-
point, many of the best paying customers, and those which
are most energetic in pushing goods, are among those firms whose
financial standing is modest, or whose experience in business has
not been long enough to entitle them to a high credit standing.
Selling in such a limited territory as our own state, it is possible
to accept many orders which would be absolutely out of the
question in distant territory. Even though a controversy does
come, an efficient traffic service will locate the cars promptly
enough to allow diversion without loss or spoilage, and whenever
necessary any of these places can be reached in a dozen hours
by train or automobile. Moreover, through such a restricted
territory it is possible for a salesman to so develop his personal
acqtaintance with the trade that he is able to work with the
highest efficiency. In handling this kind of trade, the delivered
sale becomes a necessity due to the unfamiliarity of the average
consignee with railroad matters, and due to his unwillingness to
accept the risk. But on a delivered basis more money can be


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