YAKIMA, Wash., Jan. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FirstFruits Marketing, growers of the widely acclaimed Opal® apple, is seeking applications from nonprofit organizations to benefit from 2013 Opal sales as part of the "Youth Make a Difference" Initiative, a campaign designed to provide financial support to worthy charities led by youth ages 6 to 25.
Opal, the Washington-grown apple that funded the expansion of Katie's Krops gardens across the country in 2012, is available at retail locations nationwide. This new variety was first introduced in 2010, quickly gaining favor with consumers for its bright yellow color with hints of orange, distinctively crunchy texture, and sweet, tangy flavor. Unlike other apples, Opal resists oxidation. It is less likely to brown after slicing, making it a snack-time favorite among moms and kids. In fact, retailers sell out of the apple every year.
"Opal apples have been so popular it's hard to keep them in stock," explained Kevin Hurley, manager of merchandising produce/floral, Sweetbay Supermarket. "The taste, texture and color of the apple have made it an immediate favorite. And, once our customers understand that not only are they purchasing a great product but supporting a worthy cause, the apple sells itself."
Like last year, FirstFruits will harness consumer demand for Opal in 2013 to raise funds for Katie's Krops as well as other youth-led initiatives that address issues in food security, nutrition, agriculture, food politics or food education. Non-profit organizations and school-based entities can apply for funding, totaling approximately $50,000, at facebook.com/opalbrand from Feb. 1 until March 31.
"Many children experience hunger, malnutrition or obesity, but very few understand where their food is sourced or how it is grown," said Suzanne Broetje, executive director, Vista Hermosa Foundation, Broetje Orchards. "With the Youth Make a Difference campaign, we hope to inspire the next generation to make a real difference in their communities on issues like hunger and healthy eating, the politics of food distribution, and the importance of community service."
FirstFruits will evaluate all 2013 Youth Make a Difference applicants against a stringent set of criteria before posting finalists at opalapples.org. Beginning April 29, the company will invite consumers to visit the website and vote for their favorite initiatives. In July, FirstFruits plans to award funding to a minimum of three youth-led charities based on consumer votes and consistency with criteria. Criteria, nomination guidelines and funding details are available online.
Atherton Public Relations
About FirstFruits Marketing
FirstFruits Marketing is a collaborative apple marketing company owned by growers. These growers share a commitment to producing high quality fruit while balancing the demands of purpose, people, planet and profit so that a portion of profits can be donated to non-profit missions supporting the underserved. For more Information, visit www.firstfruits.com.
About Opal Apple
Opal apple is known as the apple with a purpose. Grown only in Washington, this Golden Delicious-Topaz cross apple variety was introduced by FirstFruits Marketing in 2010 to wide consumer and media acclaim. Its distinctive color, flavor and texture are not the only qualities that make this product unique: Opal apple was created to make a difference in communities across the nation. Every year, FirstFruits Marketing donates a percentage of sales of every case of apples to worthy organizations that address issues like hunger, food safety, sustainability and the environment.
UEB 32642 variety apples are grown exclusively by Broetje Orchards and distributed under the OPAL® brand name by First Fruits Marketing in North America.
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Source: Opal(R) Apple