Aran Urlacher is one grower that nurtures Envy™, and we’re not talking about the emotion. The apple is widely eaten and enjoyed, a common category one might find in the aisles. However, many stories and myths surround this crunchy pome fruit, and we in the industry don’t view apples as common, but exceptional. Rainier Fruit Company brings these treasures from fields to shelves, and it does so with the collective might of its growers...
As Regional Farm Manager and Envy Grower, Aran joined Rainier in 2005. The Washington State University graduate manages the Mattawa Ranch in Washington, where he cultivates gold known as the Envy apple. Aran masters the depth and breadth of this microclimate to grow and care for the environment. His accomplishments have made a huge impact, contributing to the success of Rainier’s Envy profile.
“Envy is one of Rainier’s newest varieties. The Mattawa microclimate is similar to that of New Zealand’s, where the variety was first grown. They need a longer growing season than other varieties, and the longer summers in Mattawa play into this perfectly. The climate gives Envy enough time to mature on the tree to its perfect sweetness,” said Aran. “Envy is the No. 7 variety at retail, and it’s still growing in volume and sales. Because of its success, we continue to add Envy trees in Mattawa and will do so because the market reflects this success.”
Rainier’s 2,300-acre Mattawa orchards are Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) certified. With over 300 rigorous standards, the EFI certification is one of the most comprehensive programs in the industry, and Rainier has this certification branching to its Johnny Appleseed and Royal Slope orchards as well. By working with EFI, Rainier has confirmed its processes are always being tested to ensure its employees are being treated with integrity and excellence.