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)
* ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ .~~~~~~~~ - - ~~-- 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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