Fruit marketing investigations in 1907


Material Information

Fruit marketing investigations in 1907
Series Title:
Press bulletin ;
Physical Description:
27 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Higgins, J. E
Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Fruit trade -- Hawaii   ( lcsh )
Pineapple industry -- Hawaii   ( lcsh )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
by J.E. Higgins.
General Note:
Caption title.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029632007
oclc - 758867178
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'Is ,t J,;.,I o U.S. DEPOSITORY

it Aiih H Icultural Experiment Station,
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I. .. ... SC AGN I N


....... .. INTRODU TION.

it odirtin is destined to become one ofHawaii's most
Years ago the land was thought unfitS,

 er than grzg. The pineapple area is
icturist, isawaii Ex wiperiment Station, United States De-
Spaeter int of Agriculture.

efreedom- -.on frost renders this group of
t .i-rut prodictlin is destined to beconle one of awaii 's most
a-industries. Already pineapple growing has assumed
.s.d.rdble, proportions, and there are today between two
-.a~nd three thousand acres under successful pineapple
n~ whrer 5few years ago the land was thought unfit
4Jsnpoergrazing. The pineapple area is
fl ~Ig1 and conservative men believe that the industry
.... ...... i... ts infancy.
....ruit, it is believed, will.repeat the history of the pine-
j4a-aiLP.. Together with the soil and moisture require-
4reeedom frorcfrost renders this group of
irIy adaped to t!*er growth of tropical and sub-

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tropical fruits. Some of these fruits such as the avocado, the
mango and the papaia in their present state of semi-cultivation or
absolute neglect give great promise of results under the new
horticulture which is beginning in Hawaii.
%J-ass.ertain the best methods of marketing, including every
#picj ihfrsocess from the gathering of the fruit in the field,
\ o ao'its"nse inr e market, is quite as important in any fruit in-,
dustry as th 4owledge of production. To determine some
of the importqit factors in marketing Hawaiian fruits, the Ha-
S6a t!&vaii EAt$mernt Station has undertaken a series of experiments
t .,which have n'i rcovered about four years. The report of this i
work to tiheo clcoe of the season of 1906 has been published in
S ai Eijlh'eoim .6A4. This paper presents the results of experi-
'n in 1907 so far as they are of immediate
practical application.
On July 24 there was shipped from Honolulu to San Fran- f
cisco a consignment of about 12 tons of pineapples, 13oo avo-
cados and 200 papaias. These were under the direction of the
horticulturist of the Station, who personally accompanied the
shipment. A part of the pineapples were trans-shipped by water
to Los Angeles. There and in San FAicisco careful examina-
tion was made of the fruits in each crate, although in Los Ange-
les it was not possible to personally supervise the work.
Cable advices regarding the results of different methods of
handling and packing were forwarded to the experiment station,
and preparations were made for a shipment to Chicago of a car
load of pineapples .and avocados. The date of sailing was August
14 and that of arrival in San Francisco, August 21. This fruit
was examined and such of the pineapples as appeared to be in
condition for trans-shipment, were sorted, repacked, placed in
a refrigerated car and forwarded to Chicago, by way of Ogden
leaving August 22, and arriving in Chicago, August 3r. All
the avocados were placed in the car without repacking. The car
was pre-iced on the afternoon of August 21. September i, be-
ing Sunday, and September 2 falling on Labor Day, it was
not possible to remove the fruit from the car until September
3. On the third day a careful examination was made of the

avocados and pineapples. The avocados were in good condi-
tion for immediate consumption, but were not so firm as they
should be for the market. Had the- been perfectly hard when
taken from the steamer, it is believed they would have arrived
in the same condition in Chicago.
The pineapples opened up in most excellent condition. The
loss was less than one per cent. It was reported that some of
the fruits showed more or less discoloration in ripening. This.
however, has been noticed repeatedly on fruits shipped with
refrigeration and without to San Francisco and other points.
The outcome of this trial shipment by rail strongly suggests that
it will be no more difficult to place Hawaiian pineapples in the
interior markets than in the markets of the Pacific Coast.


For convenience and to avoid needless repetition, subjects re-
lating to transportation, markets and organization for market-
ing purposes, may be discussed in general.


BY LAND. Until the present time there has been practically
no freight transportation of Hawaiian fruits by rail. A few
express shipments have been sent to inland cities, and by water
freight Hawaiian pineapples have reached the chief markets on
the Pacific Coast. One of the obstacles in the way of shipments
by rail has been the high freight tariff. The railroads subject
to the Inter-State Commerce Commission have made a tariff
schedule on "deciduous fruits," and other tariffs on citrus fruits.
Though the term "deciduous fruits" is of rather loose applica-
tion, Hawaiian pineapples and many other tropical fruits could
not well be classified here. In preparation, therefore, for the
experimental shipment by rail to Chicago, this subject of freight
rates on tropical fruits was taken up with the railroads. Per-
mission was received by them from the Inter-State Commerce
Commission to announce a regular tariff on "tropical fruits,"


identical with that for "deciduous fruits." The tariff sheet now
reads, "Rates on Deciduous and Tropical Fruits."

These rates are as follows:


Colorado Common Points ................... ........
Missouri River Common and intermediate points and)
points west thereof to which Missouri River Common
and intermediate rates are authorized to apply .......
Mississippi River Common Points.......................
Chicago and Common Points............................
Cincinnati, Detroit and Common Points ................
Pittsburg, Buffalo and Common Points, including points'
in Canada taking Toronto rates, as shown on pages 10
to 21 of the tariff ..............................
New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Common Points,)
including points in Canada taking Montreal rates as
shown on pages 10 to 21 of the tariff .................
Boston and Common Points, including points in Canada
taking Sherbrooke rates, as shown on pages 10 to 21 of
the tariff................. .. ............ .......

In Carloads of
not less than
24,000 lbs.
PER 100 LBS.

$ 1.15


1 40




This practically opens the way for carload trans-continental
shipments. Hawaii can now take advantage of all the facilities
for shipment offered to the fruit growers of California. These
facilities, which have been gained by the California shippers,
through long and strenuous experiences, are practically the free
gift to the shippers from Hawaii. During the whole of the
fruit season special fruit trains leave daily for Eastern points.
These are hastened through to destinations as rapidly as possi-
ble, the time required from San Francisco to Chicago being sche-
duled at eight days. Cars are kept iced throughout their jour-
ney and the shipper is permitted to give his own instructions re-
garding the opening or closing of the ventilators. The rail-
roads issue a sheet for the convenience of the shipper which is
as follows;








;i i

ii 11111
- 1.%


. .. .. .. ... .. .. I90 .
To Agent,

We have this day delivered to you for transportation the follow-

ing perishable freight .................................. ..........

C ar num ber ...................................... ...... .....

Initial .............................................. .. ...

Destination .............................. .......... .. .. .....

Consignee ..........................*..... ..........

Keep ventilators open to destination ..........................

Keep ventilators open to ....................................

Keep ventilators closed to destination .........................

C lose ventilators at .........................................

S Open side doors for ventilation at ............................

It is understood as between shipper and carrier that the carrier
undertakes to comply with above request only as accommodation to
and in the interest of shipper, and in so doing does not assume any
risk for loss or damage to said property.


Note:-In absence of specific instructions by shipper as to open-
ing and closing ventilators, the carriers will exercise their judgment,
at owners risk, and for information of railway employes only, way-
bills will be stamped:

"Put in ice plugs and close hatches when temperature falls below
freezing. Open hatches and take out ice plugs immediately when
temperature is above freezing."

MANNER OF PACKING THE CAR. It- is important that a car
should be properly packed in order to permit of the free circu-
lation of air among the crates and, at the same time, to prevent
shifting. In so long a haul with many stops and sudden jerks
in switching, if the crates are not held firmly in position they
would rapidly be broken and the fruit injured. Different methods
of packing a car are in vogue with different kinds of fruits and
different types of crates. Orange boxes for example, are usually
stood on end and the dimensions are such that a" given number
will exactly occupy the floor space of the car. With other fruits
such as grapes, the crates for which are flat, there is usually
an open space in the center of the car where the crates must be
braced to hold them in position. Circulation of air among the
crates is provided for by placing small strips on the floor of the
car and beneath each tier. There is also a large open space -
running lengthwise of the car, between each two rows of crates.
Were it not for this arrangement it would be practically impossi-
ble to get the fruit in the center of the car refrigerated. What
method of packing pineapple crates in a car will prove best is a
matter which must yet be worked out, and will probably depend
in part upon what type of crate is adopted. From the limited
experience afforded by a single car, it would seem that the large
sized crate in most common use in Hawaii should be placed on
edge. A car would probably hold about 160o crates, which would
represent about 24,000 lbs. or the minimum carload. This would
be without overloading the car by placing the fruit too high. It
is always customary to leave a large open space at the top, on
an average perhaps about 4i of the height of the car. The warm
air rises to the highest point, and therefore fruit that occupies
a position near the top of the car would receive very poor
refrigeration. This arrangement of the crates allows for four
rows on the floor with an air space next to the walls of the car
and between the rows.

COST OF TRANSPORTATION. The expense involved in moving
a carload of pineapples from the wharf in San Francisco to Chi-

cago, including the cost of repacking, would be approximately as
Freight .......................................$ 276.00
Loading ....................................... 1.50
Repacking at 20 cents per crate ............. 32.00
Cartage, wharf to car ......................... 16.00
Icing charges ................................. 85.00

Total .................. ................ $ 410.50
Taking the weight of a large crate of pineapples packed, as
150 pounds, which is believed to be about an average, approxi-
mately 78 per cent of the total weight would be fruit, and 22 per
cent tare. In a 12 ton car there would be about 9.36 tons of fruit.
The cost of moving a ton of fruit from the San Francisco wharf
to Chicago would be. according to these figures, about $44.oo.
Figured per crate, the cost would be about $2.55.
distinct methods of transportation, by ocean freight, the one in-
volving refrigeration, the other ventilation. Such fruits as avo-
cados, mangoes, and papaia demand refrigeration, while the
pineapple may be shipped without it, and its use is not at all
adapted to the banana. Although the volume of freight demand-
ing refrigeration at the present time is very small, there can be
no question that it will increase and that the shipment of refri-
gerated fruit will become an important industry. In the inter-
ests of those who are already shipping this class of perishable
goods, and also in the interests of future development, it is
opportune to give attention to the requirement of refrigeration
in ocean transit.
The exact temperatures which are best adapted to the pre-
servation of each species of tropical fruit has not yet been deter-
mined. This in itself is a line of work which would involve
extended experiments and which cannot be carried out without
larger expense than the Station has been able to afford. It has
been found, however, that avocados and papaias are not injured
by a temperature of about 40 degrees F., continued for several


w eeks. On the other hand, it has been found that holding the
temperature of the refrigerated compartment at 50 degrees'F.,
has resulted in the ripening of the fruit. Tentatively, there-
fore, it is recommended that steamships carrying avocados and
papaias should hold the temperature between 40 and 45 degrees.
portant in stowing the crates to place them so that there can be
a free circulation of air between and also beneath them. Some
adaptation of the methods adopted in packing cars, as described-
above, should be followed by the steamship companies in their
refrigerated compartments. It is almost impossible to refriger-
ate a solid and compact mass; and it is only by causing the cold
air to pass to every part of the compartment that the fruit can
be brought down to a low temperature. The temperature indi-
cated by the thermometer within the compartment may be no
index to the temperature of the fruit in the crates. It has been
found in trans-continental shipments made for experimental pur-
poses by the Division of Pomology of the U. S. Department of
Agriculture, that even with the best arrangement of packages
within the car, and with ample supplies of ice the temperature
of the fruit in the center of an orange box remains for several
days far above that of the atmospheric temperature within the
car. After a compartment on steamship is filled with fruit it
will require considerable time to get the temperature of the room
to 40 degrees, and it must then be distinctly borne in mind that
the fruit will be much later in assuming this temperature, even
with the best methods of steving. With no care being taken
to permit free circulation, the fruit farthest from the pipes and
in the center of the crates may spoil before its heat has been
removed. For these reasons it is eminently important that the
engines should be working and the room brought to a low tem-
perature before being opened to receive the cargo, and that it
should remain open the shortest possible time. When the cargo
is in place the doors should be opened as little as possible, should
never be allowed to remain open, and every effort should be made
to hold the temperature at a uniform degree.

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Every steamship attempting to carry refrigerated tropical
fruits should observe these general principles. Furthermore.
every steamship which is expected to develop the fresh fruit
industries of Hawaii should be equipped with at least a small
compartment which can be used for the carrying of such fruits
as require low temperatures for their preservation. Only in this
way can these smaller industries be developed, for no one will
plant and cultivate fruits with no means of getting them to mar-
SHIPPING UNDER VENTILATION. The greatest present need
in Hawaiian fruit transportation is ventilation. The results rec-
orded in Bulletin No. 14 of this Station have been confirmed by
the experiences of the past summer. The requirements as set
forth therein for the shipment of fruit without refrigeration
were as follows: First, ventilation; second, dryness; third.
reasonably low temperatures; fourth, careful handling and stev-
ing. Few if any steamships at present in the trade can assure
the shipper that his fruit will receive these requirements of safe
shipping. Pineapples and bananas have been carried on deck on
some of the steamers, covered with an awning and with tarpaulin
on the sides. Strips of board placed beneath the crates, permit
of ventilation beneath. By this means, in favorable weather.
both bananas and pineapples arrive at their destination in good
condition. In heavy storms it is not easy to keep the fruit dry.
In cold weather fruit cannot be shipped in safety on deck. The
ventilation supplied to the compartments below deck is insuf-
ficient unless some method of mechanically forced draught is
adopted. The windsail when it can be used serves a valuable
purpose, but its use is subject to the uncertainties of weather.
There is no one factor that the development of the fresh pine-
apple shipping industry depends upon so much as this matter of
properly equipped steamships for the trade. The fruit is already
growing, is being put in the cans at a much lower value than
could be realized on fresh fruit shipments, the markets are ask-
ing for the fruit and the railroads offer means of transportation
after it has once reached the mainland. Provided with suitable


ships, the export trade in fresh pineapples would well repay the
cost incurred in equipment.
From the standpoint of the fresh fruit shipper it is far more
important that ships should be regular and frequent, than that:
they should be large. If local capital is to own or control ships
which will carry this class of fruit, it must be remembered that
one large ship though it may or may not be better from the
standpoint of passenger traffic, will certainly not meet the needs
of fresh fruit shipping. Fruit that is too immature for shipping,
today may be too ripe two weeks hence. The boats should run as
frequently as once in ten days at least, and with regularity. If
the shipper cannot know, within a few hours, the time of sail-,
iig, he may either have his fruit stand in the heat awaiting the
departure of the ship, or it may be too late to be taken on board.
.CAREFUL HANDLING of the fruit whenever it is moved is of
great importance. The steamship handles the fruit in loading
and unloading. The method adopted in unloading, whereby the
crates are allowed to slide down a chute, is capable of doing
much damage. This is a convenient and easy method of unload-
ing, but with the average man at the foot of the chute, every
crate stops with a sudden jerk bruising many of the fruits with-
in. It might be possible to arrange a chute so that the crate
would slowly stop, but in actual practice, it is an exception, so
far as the writer's observation goes, that a crate is stopped with-
out a sudden jar. In loading, if the crates are taken on board
in a sling, a frame should be arranged so that the ropes will not
bind against the outer crates and bruise the fruits within. It is
a common practice in carrying crates to allow them to fall two or
three inches when setting them down. This is true not only
at the steamer but among all those who handle the crates. The
practice must be avoided or bruising will certainly follow.


SOf equal importance with transportation facilities, is the or-
ganization of the growers and shippers into a co-operative mar-
keting concern. The success of co-operative marketing elsewhere

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and the failure of other methods which has been amply demon-
strated in Hawaii, should be sufficient argument to lead all those
interested in marketing fresh fruits to cooperate in a market-
ing organization. In fact, no large fresh fruit trade is likely to
be built up except through some strong central organization of
the shippers, or the formation of an independent marketing com-
pany who will buy the fruit for shipment. The latter will be the
result if the growers fail to organize themselves. Such a com-
pany will buy the fruit at canning prices and ship them as green
fruit, and thus the profits of fresh fruit marketing will pass from
the grower. The need of organization has been set forth already
in Bulletin No. 14 of this Station, and it is only necessary to
say here that the observations of the more recent study of the
markets ha' strengthened the conclusions presented therein.
The marketing organization should be represented in Hono-
lulu and all points in the Territory from which direct shipments
are made. It is also equally important that at least one man
should represent the shippers in San Francisco, and the busi-
ness would certainly demand in the near future that other repre-
sentatives be placed in the different markets to be reached. Every
agent should be on salary, with no commissions, and should not
engage in the selling of other fruit. There should be a mana in
San Francisco to look after the interests of Hawaiian shippers.
to receive, care for, and trans-ship fruit. This is all the mnre
true since much of the fruit would be better for repacking before
The local agent at the shipping point should receive the fruit.
should see that it is handled with utmost care by the transfer
and steamship companies, while the agent at San Francisco or
other port. should be present to receive the fruit and see that
every handling is performed with care.
Whether the fruit is to-be sold at private sale, or at public auc-
tion, must be determined by the shippers. In part it may be
necessary to follow the precedent of each market, but in any
case, the consignment and commission system should be avoided.
In some markets, fruit is sold through brokers at private sale.
In others, there is a public auction at which all buyers may bid.

First class fruit usually brings a better price through private
sale, provided the agent is a good salesman. In Chicago, where
the experimental shipment of the past summer was marketed,
Florida pineapples are sold at private sale.


was stated that in the future development of the tropical fruit trade,
the Eastern cities of the United States would probably be sup-
plied by Porto Rico. Florida and Cuba. while the western coast
could be supplied from Hawaii. Although it would not be wise
to draw too general conclusions from a single experiment, it
must be said that the results of the shipping investigations of
the past summer point towards a much larger outlook for Ha-
waiian fruit marketing. The pineapples and avocados which
were taken to Chicago in August, 1907 arrived in such condi-
tion as to justify the belief that these two fruits could be dis-
tributed over a much wider area than had been previously hoped.
A leading dealer in fruits in Chicago representing a firm which
ships fruit to Europe, as well as to all parts of America,'on ex-
amining the pineapples, stated that, from a business point of
view. if the carload were the property of his company it should
be trans-shipped at once to New York; and further, that fruit
in such condition could be shipped to any of the world's great'
markets. If future experiments of this kind shall confirm the
results of the past season, it will be conservative to say that
Hawaiian pineapples may be shipped to any part of the United
States or Canada. It is possible that some kinds of fruits may
not stand the distant shipment, and for these, markets must be
developed nearer home. For example, the papaia will probably
not endure a long journey by rail after reaching the mainland.
The avocado travels much better, and with proper refrigeration
and handling, can probably be carried far inland. This is true
also of the mango. The carrying qualities of some other fresh
fruits which have not been marketed on the mainland, have yet
to be determined.

........i...iiii .i iiiii

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THE CAPACITY OF THE MARKETS for tropical fruits, when
once developed, can be judged by the enormous consumption of
other fruits, which, a few years ago, were comparatively un-
known, or were not shipped in quantity to eastern markets. To
illustrate this, it may bc said that more than twenty carloads of
California grapes are sometimes sold in a single morning in the
Chicago market. It is estimated by those most familiar with
the fruit trade of Chicago that this market receives at present
about twenty-five hundred carloads of pineapples per year. The
present consumption of this fruit is only the faintest indication
of the amount which will be consumed in the future provided c
proper methods for developing markets are pursued. This pre-
supposes a marketing organization. Through such an agency a
constant supply of fruit can be kept upon the markets during
the season. By this means also. the over-stocking of one mar-
ket while another is hare will be avoided, and by care in
repacking on the part of the trans-shipping agent, fruit of
uniformly first class quality can be supplied. This constant
stream of good fruit flowing into the markets will rapidly in-
crease their capacity. In Ogden, Salt Lake City and Denver
it was found that there were dealers ready to receive Hawaiian
pineapples in carload lots. With the exception of Reno. Nevada,
these were the only markets visited between San Francisco and
Chicago. No doubt all the large cities would take the fruit in
freight lots.
Developing the fresh pineapple market means an enormous in-
crease in the use of canned pines. The canned product on the
shelves of the grocery store attracts little attention, a pineapple
tin appearing the same as that containing any other fruit. On
the other hand the fresh fruit is conspicuous by its unusual form
and beauty, and if of good size, attracts the attention of every
passerby. If reasonable in price, he buys and perhaps learns
for the first time the taste of the pineapple; or if he has eaten
the pineapple before, he learns for the first time the quality of
the Hawaiian product. Later when the fruit is out of season
he buys it in the can. If Hawaiian growers fear an over-pro-
duction of pineapples, the best possible policy would be to keep

... ...... '
. : : .:: : .: : i: : .

selling the fresh fruit in as large quantities as the markets will
The term "overproduction" merely expresses a relation in which
the immediate supply exceeds the demand. Equilibrium may
be restored not through any permanent reduction in the supply,
but through increase in demand. This may be accomplished"
through more general distribution. As an illustration of this;
there are more prunes and raisins sold today at remunerative
prices than were grown at any time during the period of so-
called over-production in California and Oregon. The rational
move for the growers of pineapples is to organize their efforts
to keep the demand constantly in advance of the supply.
In the discussion of markets the pineapple is spoken of in par-
ticular since that fruit is grown most extensively in Hawaii.
There are those who are making a specialty of handling rare
fruits and particularly tropical fruits in the great markets but
this is comparatively a new business.

COMPETITION. It is not to be expected that Hawaii can have
the whole field without competition, nor is it necessary. Some
have thought that Hawaiian pineapples could not compete in
price with the Florida product. The prices of the latter, as quot-
ed in the Eastern markets, are somewhat misleading to the
Hawaiian grower. Prices are usually quoted per crate. The
Florida crate being much smaller than the Hawaiian, and the
fruit also being of much smaller size,, the comparison of prices
means very little, except when brought to a per pound basis.

The quotations in Chicago on May 22, 1907 were about as



...............................$2.75 per
............................... 3.25 per
................................ 3.50 per
............................... 3.50 per
............................... 3.50 per


The "42 size" indicates that there are 42 pines per crate. The
gross weight of a crate is about 75 pounds, and the net weight

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= ;;i....


approximately, 60 pounds. It varies little with the size of the
fruit. Therefore, about 60 pounds of fruit were selling on that
day at $2.75'to $3.50 according to size of fruit. The finest of
these, the eighteens, would average only 3.3 pounds per fruit, or
smaller than any fruit which is shipped from Hawaii. The price
of the best grade would be about the equivalent of $116 per ton.
If this price were received for Hawaiian pines, there would be
left a very considerable margin after deducting the costs of trans-
portation. Hawaiian pines sold in September in Chicago for
$155 per ton.
Although the Florida crop matures about the same time as
that of Hawaii, when the Hawaiian pines were sold in Chicago
in September, the market was bare of other pineapples and was
reported to have been so for a long time. The dealers stated
that very few pines were received during the summer and the
Hawaiian product would find a ready sale.
The Florida output consists of about half a million crates per
year. This, however, is subject to the uncertainties of weather
to a greater degree than the Hawaiian crop. For example, the
Florida crop for 1907, especially on the lower east coast, suffered
seriously from a freeze and the entire pineapple area was visited
by a severe drought. It is estimated that these two factors re-
duced the crop to about 40 to 60 per cent of the normal. Al-
though the Hawaiian pineapple fields may at some future time
suffer from severe drought, frost is unknown. The assurance
of protection against this dread enemy which those in an "al-
most" frostless country are constantly in fear of should quite
offset the difference in the cost of transportation.
Comparing the quality of the fruit, it has been recognized in
all the markets visited during the past summer's investigations.
that the quality of the Hawaiian pines as to flavor, texture and
juiciness is far superior to the average. This may perhaps be
attributed in part to soil and climate, but is probably due in a large
degree to the variety which is grown in Hawaii most extensively.
The "Smooth Cayenne" is recognized as a pineapple of fine qual-
ity, but Hawaii must not be blind to the fact that her competitors


have chosen the "Red Spanish" because of -its better shipping
qualities. About 90 per cent of the Florida crop is said to be
of this variety. If, however, the Smooth Cayenne can be suc-
cessfully shipped with only a small loss in transit, it will out-
sell the Red Spanish.
It has also been supposed by some that Hawaii has a peculiar
obstacle to contend with in the black rot of the pineapple. This,
however, is incorrect since the same disease has been reported-
in pineapples which have been received in the Chicago markets
from southeastern points. This disease is more prevalent in the
Smooth Cayenne variety than in the Red Spanish.



CARE IN HANDLING. The pineapple, as grown in Hawaii, is
an unusually delicate fruit to ship. Its weight is the first factor
in the problem. If an apple, a peach or an orange falls an eighth
-or a quarter of an inch, there is comparatively little momentum
overcome when it strikes on a single point. When, however, a
five to nine pound pineapple falls the same distance and comes
to rest on a comparatively small portion of its surface, or when
in sliding down a chute within a crate, it suddenly comes to
rest against an adjoining fruit, the momentum causes bruising,
or a destruction of the delicate cells within the fruit. In the
case of a cured orange, or pomelo and in many other commer-
cial fruits, there is a certain elasticity which tends to overcome
bruising,. and to protect the cell structure within. This is lack-
ing in the pineapple. Further, the composite character of the
pineapple is against it as a shipping fruit. It is really made up
of many small fruits, or segments, placed closely together but
easily separable from each other. A bruise which would not be
sufficient to rupture the epidermis of most commercial fruits.
would be sufficient to cause a separation between two of these
segments, thus affording an opening for the exudation of juice.
This provides the best possible medium for the growth of fungi.

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The abundance of the juice in itself is another contributing fac-
It, therefore, becomes extremely important that the pineapple
should be handled with utmost care. A large portion of the
losses, which were observable in the fruits used in the experi-
ments were plainly due to brui'inf. This care must be exer-
cised at every step from the gathering in the field to delivery in
the market. The grower, the shipper, the transfer companies.
the steamship companies, and' the fruit dealers each have their
part to perform, and neglect or carelessness at any point in tran-
sit will result in loss to the owners of the fruit. It should never
be thrown or allowed to fall even the slightest distance, nor be
carried from the field to the packing house in bulk. The pack-
ing of a ton or more of pineapples loose on a wagon must result
in the bruising of a good many fruits. In fact, it would pro-
bably pay to allow cach pineapple to sustain no other weight than
its own from field to packing house, where it has no protective
material surrounding it. This could be accomplished bv single
layer crates. Only spring wagons should be used.
Under present methods of shipping, the packer should use lib-
eral amounts of packing materials. In the experiments of Too6
it was found that the crates shipped with very little packing
other than a paper wrapping, went through with very small loss.
In the 1906 shipment, however, the fruit was more carefully
supervised at every handling than was possible with the ship-
ments of the season of 1007, or would be possible with commer-
cial shipments except through a marketing organization. If all
the fruit were handled by its owners, the use of very little pack-
ing material might be recommended. The transfer companies
carrying the fruit from railroad to wharf should be cautioned in
regard to the handling of delicate fruits. It is much easier to
drop a crate, allowing it to fall an inch or two, than it is to place
it where it belongs. Men who are accustomed to handling pack-
ages constantly, naturally acquire the easiest method.
The duty of the steamship companies, in relation to careful
handling, is the same in part as that of the transfer companies.


The methods of loading and discharging the cargo, can be much
improved upon. Pineapples are frequently taken on board by
means of a sling which bruises the fruits where the rope binds
the crate. In discharging the fruit even greater damage occurs
when the chute is used. The crates are placed at the top of an
inclined plane and are allowed to descend, by their own weight.
In practice, nearly every crate comes to a sudden stop on the
level plane at the foot of the chute with consequent bruising to
the fruits within. It is difficult, if not impossible, for a man
at the foot of the chute to control the matter so that the crates
will come to rest slowly without jar. Some device must be
sought which will obviate this bruising both in taking on and
discharging the cargo. Where the fruit is hoisted by tackle at-
tached to the boom, or freight crane, it would be possible to
avoid the bruising by the rope if a frame were made in which
the crates could be placed, so that the binding would be against
the frame instead of the crates. This injury can be largely
avoided by the use of strips of wood at the four corners of the
sling to distribute the pressure. A more rapid method of load-
ing and discharging, if there were sufficient business to justify
it, would be an adaptation of the endless chain carrier with
attendants at the top and bottom. By this means, the fruit
could be handled much more rapidly and with less injury. Per-
haps the present shipments of fresh pineapples would not justify
any steamship company in putting in this apparatus for pine-
apples alone. If, however, there were a fresh fruit marketing
organization, and a larger quantity shipped, this would appear
to be the most satisfactory method of handling the crates at the
ship. It may be said also that this method would be equally
advantageous in the case of bananas wherever they are not
trucked into the ship.
The responsibility of the commission merchant for the hand-
ling of fruit begins at the dock. The most satisfactory method
of securing uniform care from this point to the retail dealer is in
having the ownership pass from the grower to the wholesale
dealer. It is useless to expect the average commission mer-

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chant to take the same care with consigned fruit that would
be taken with fruit which he owns. As an illustration-of this,
it may be said the writer has seen Hawaiian bananas thrown
fully ten feet and allowed to drop on the bottom of a wagon
and then piled ten or twelve feet high, the loader standing
on the lower tiers while the upper ones were being placed.
No man would treat his own bananas in this way, nor is it in-
tended to intimate that every commission house so treats fruit
consigned to it. But how is the consignor to know what injury
is the result of careless handling on the part of the consignee?
It is even more important that the pineapples be handled with
care at their destination than in the field, since they are riper.
The chute is in use in many commission houses also as a means
of transferring the fruit from the wagon to the basement of the
fruit house. Although the distance is not so great as from the
steamer's side to the wharf, the momentum acquired before the
floor of the basement is reached, is sufficient to cause much
bruising unless the operator at the foot of the chute is on the
alert to prevent sudden jar. It is important also that the pine-
apples which have traveled 2,000 miles by steamer, should be
picked over as soon as possible eliminating those which are de-
caying, and thus avoiding the spread of disease.
PACKING MATERIALS. Further tests were made of the rela-
tive value of hay and excelsior for packing pineapples in the
crates. So far as the preservation of the fruit is concerned
there appears to be no difference but the excelsior makes a better
appearance. Corrugated strawboard was also tested as a wrap-
ping about each pineapple but with no added benefit.
PINEiAPPLE ROT, Thielaviopsis ethaceticus. The presence of
this disease in pineapples was mentioned in Bulletin No. 14. As
stated above, this disease is not peculiar to Hawaii. It, never-
theless, appears to be an important factor in the problem of fresh
fruit shipments, and its control is a matter of great importance.
Every means possible should be taken to avoid infection with
the spores of Thielaviopsis. Even should it prove practicable
to arrest the development of the fungus in pineapples before


shipment, the importance of avoiding infection remains the same.
In most fungus attacks upon ripening fruit, a large part of the
injury results from increasing the number of vulnerable points,
In the case of citrus fruits for example, it has been found that
much of the heavy loss sustained has been due to abrasions of
the rind caused by brushing, or by the orange clippers, or from
other sources. Although the exact life-history of Thiclaviopsis
in pineapples has not been thoroughly worked out, it is reason-
able to suspect by analogy, some of the probable means of in-
fection. First, infection may readily take place through the
moistened surface of the stem where it is cut. Considerable
benefits appear to have been gained by thoroughly drying the
stem before packing so that it will be a less inviting field for
spores. The Experiment Station has not yet been able to make
a careful and exhaustive study of this subject. So far as ob-
servations have been carried, there is an advantage in allowing
the fruit to stand on its crown for some time after gathering.
Second, innumerable vulnerable points are made by the bruis-
ing which takes place in shipping. Bruising of the fruit can
be avoided by careful packing and handling. Third, it is pro-
bable that insects play their part in the spreading of this dis-
ease. Whether the pineapple mealy-bug, or the pineapple scale
spreads this disease has not been proved, but the general nature
of their attack makes it probable that they do. Mealy-bugs clus-
ter at the base of the pineapple. They not only puncture the
fruit but also cause it to crack open. The mealy-bug saps the
vitality of the plant and mars the appearance of the fruit. The
shipment of insect-infested fruits will also give Hawaiian pine-
apples a bad name in ports where careful quarantine regulations
are enforced. Every effort should therefore be made to control
insect pests in the pineapple fields. New fields should not be
planted without carefully fumigating or dipping the plants to
destroy the insects present.

1 Powell et al, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Indus-
try, Bulletin No. 123.


There appears to be a very wide difference in the keeping
quality of pineapples from different fields. During the trials of
two years the average loss on fruits from some fields has run
as low as 4.93 per cent. while from other fields it has averaged


25.77 per cent. While the evidence in hand is not conclusive
it strongly suggests the importance of soil studies and fertilizer
experiments in relation to the keeping quality of pineapples.

A large number of fruits were cut with stems two to three
inches long and also others with stems one inch long or less.


The results are confirmatory of those of the year 90o6, referred
to in Bulletin No. 14. On fruits that showed a great tendency
to decay in transit the part saved by cutting long stems averaged
17 per cent of the whole. The greater the tendency to decay,
the greater became the saving on long-stemmed fruit. This 340
lbs. per ton or 17 per cent. would be worth $17 on a basis of 5
cents per pound.
BROKEN STEMS. There is a point in the pineapple stalk where
the fruit can be broken from the plant. This point, however,
is too close to the fruit, even closer than it has been customary
to cut. The difference in favor of long stems as compared with
broken stems was over 46 per cent.
PAPER WRAPPING. In the experiments of 1906 it was shown
that the use of a paper wrapping about each fruit resulted in a
marked reduction in the loss. These results also are confirmed
by the trials made in 1907. Where the loss was heavy without
wrapping there was a saving on wrapped fruit ranging from ;;i
4% per cent to over 9Y4 per cent. On an average this differ-
ence in favor of wrapping was about 6.6 per cent.
It is interesting to note that fruits that were cut with l6ng
stems and also wrapped in paper and otherwise comparable with
the above showed an average saving of 22.37 per cent of the
whole as compared with fruits cut with short stems and packed
without paper. This approximates the figure obtained by add-
ing the gains resulting from these two devices when practiced
separately. This experiment confirms the results obtained in
During the experiments of 1907 tests were made of the relative
advantages of the orlop deck and th'e after-deck for the carrying
of pineapples. The 'tween-decks were not used at all since the
results here the previous season were so decidedly unfavorable,
and since this portion of the ship without a forced draft is mani-
festly without sufficient ventilation for carrying fruit. The tem-
peratures are too high and the circulation of air is insufficient.

Pineapples from the three fields mentioned, were placed on the
after-deck of the ship and were covered with a tarpaulin to
protect them from the weather. The fruit on the orlop, deck was
ventilated, as usual, by means of a windsail. The results show
no constant advantage in favor of either of these decks. While
in fair weather fruit can be carried on the after-deck with a fair
degree of safety, in stormy or cold weather this cannot be done.
The tarpaulin over the crates on the after-deck, should be placed
a sufficient distance above the crates to permit a free circulation
of air beneath. Otherwise the temperatures will become too
Carrying fruit where it is exposed to the vicissitudes of wea-
ther can be regarded only as a makeshift. Any steamship com-
pany which aims to get the fresh fruit trade must equip its ships
to handle fruit in all weather.


Some pineapples were shipped by the trade in refrigeration
during the early part of the season of 1907. The temperature
was to be held at about 50 degrees.
An experiment was made to determine the value of such re-
frigeration. In the case of pineapples from fields A and B, no
advantage resulted, the loss being practically the same in refri-
geration as on the after deck. No fruits from field C were
shipped in refrigeration. The temperature of the refrigerated
compartments was held at about 50 degrees F. after it had been
reduced to this point. The compartments were very full, and
it is probable that the temperature of the fruit remained for
a long time above that of the air of the room. The tem-
perature of 50 degrees F. was not attained in one of the
largest compartments until about eight P. M. of July 26.
2% days from the time of sailing. This temperature, 50
degrees, is higher than is used for the refrigeration of other
fruits. While it would not be fair to conclude that refrigeration

1 See "Transportation by Sea," page 7.

is unsuited to pineapple shipments, it can be safely averred -that.
an air temperature of 50 degrees attained two days or more
after sailing, the fruit having been gathered several days pre-
ceding sailing, is of no particular advantage. A more effective
refrigeration, which would bring the temperature of the com-
partment to perhaps 40 degrees within a short time after sailing,
might give far different results. The cost of shipping by refri-
geration is considerably greater than by ordinary freight. The
lowest rates offered, so far as the writer is aware, for refrigerated
freight from Honolulu to San Francisco is one cent per pound,
about three times the cost for carrying on deck. If the simpler
and cheaper method of transportation in ventilation should prove
inefficient, it will then be necessary to conduct further experi-
ments in refrigeration in transit using lower temperatures.


One of the experiments was the shipment of Chinese bananas
to San Francisco unwrapped. This variety is always wrapped
when exported from Hawaii. The wrapping consists of dried
banana leaves or occasionally, dried grass: the latter however is
not a suitable material.
A serious disadvantage, is that this wrapping gives to the
bunch of bananas the appearance of greater protection than it
really has. The fruit, therefore, receives very much rougher
handling. The experiment was made for these reasons and be-
cause some have thought that the wrapping might be a direct
cause of heating. Fifty bunches were shipped in connection
with the first experiments of 1907. It was intended that these
fruits should receive the same care on board ship as the rest of
the cargo of wrapped fruit. Through an error the bunches were
suspended from hooks and hung clear of each other. They thus
received better care than the wrapped fruit. Notwithstanding
this, these fifty bunches arrived in San Francisco in no better
condition than those which were wrapped; and it was evident
from their bruised condition that had they been placed with the
others and been loaded and discharged in the same manner, they


would not have arrived in salable condition. The Chinese, or
Cavendish variety, has a rind much more delicate than the so-
called "Eastern" banana imported from Central America and the
West Indies.
Since the bananas received unusually good care from the
steamship company, the bruises were probably received from
those who handled the fruit in Honolulu or in San Francisco.
Both the consignor and the consignee should be slow to lay all
the blame for losses at the door of the steamship company until
they have made sure that none of it can be accounted for by
their own methods of handling the fruit.
The so-called Eastern variety was introduced into Hawaii in
1904-under the name of "Bluefields" banana, Bluefields being an
important port of shipment in the banana trade. It is well
known that this variety is always shipped without wrapping both
in steamships and by rail.
A great many offsets have been distributed throughout Ha-
waii from the stock introduced and propagated by this Station.
Some of these fruits are beginning to appear, and a few bunches
were shipped to San Francisco in November, 1907. One of
these was overripe on arrival due to having been too near ripe
when shipped. The others are reported to have arrived in most
excellent condition and to have ripened with a bright color. This
limited trial would not be a sufficient one upon which to base
conclusions in the matter of shipping this variety without wrap-
ping on the steamships from Honolulu, because these vessels
are not specially equipped for the banana trade, as are those in
the West Indian trade. It will not be long before a sufficient
quantity of this fruit should be available to make a more exten-
sive test.
If the Chinese, or Cavendish banana, continues in the Hawaii-
an trade, some methods of protection, preferable to those now in
use, should be sought. On the mainland a cylindrical package
known as a "banana drum," is coming into use in shipping
bananas by express from the great central markets to the tribu-
tary territory. These are of heavy pasteboard or strawboard
with three hoops and have a thin, wooden bottom. At the top,


a lining of heavy wrapping paper extends about a foot above
the top of the drum. The bunch of bananas is packed within
this drum and the paper tied about the stem, which thus makes
a convenient handle for lifting the package. A similar drum is
also being made with veneer sides in place of the pasteboard.
These are quoted in Chicago at nine cents for a twelve inch
drum, or ten cents for a fourteen inch drum; "knocked down"
and crated for shipment. The paper drums cost about half this
amount. It would be well to make a trial of these packages, as
in case they should prove desirable, they could undoubtedly be
manufactured here in Hawaii. Such packages would probably

The results set forth in Bulletin No. 14 regarding methods
of picking, packing and shipment of avocados have been con-
firmed by the trials of 1907. Through an accident, thany of the
/packages did not receive the treatment which had been planned,
resulting in rather high percentages of loss. All that were pack-
ed and treated as described in Bulletin No. 14 gave satisfactory
The refrigeration given the avocados was the same as referred
to above in the case of pineapples except that the temperature of
50 degrees F. was attained much more rapidly in the room where
the avocados were placed. Although the fruit which was pick-
ed, packed and placed on board the steamer, as directed in Bul-
letin No. 14, arrived in San Francisco in good condition, it
would have been better, judged by market standards, had it been
firmer. The observations of this and other experiments, suggest
that a temperature lower than o5 degrees is necessary for the
most successful shipment of avocados. It is recommended, ten-
tatively, that the temperature be held as low as 40 degrees.
Observing a few essential points in packing and shipping, the
avocado appears not to be a difficult fruit to export. It is neces-
sary to use care in picking and packing so as to avoid bruising.
It seems hardly necessary to say that avocados which have been

shaken from the tree, or knocked off with sticks or stones, or
allowed to fall. even after being cut, are unfit fdr shipment. Yet
such fruit has repeatedly been shipped and has been in part res-
ponsible for the impression that avocados are an uncertain ship.
ping fruit. To insure success the fruit, after careful picking.
should be wrapped in paper and packed in single layer crates.
The spaces between the fruits should not be filled with paper, as
is often done. This paper makes refrigeration much more dif-
ficult, retaining the natural heat of the fruit until ripening has
begun. Perhaps the most striking essential in shipping avocados
is to get the fruit into refrigeration promptly after packing. It
is characteristic of the avocado that it begins to soften very
soon after picking. After this softening has begun, it is too
late to arrest the ripening process and place the fruit on the
market in a firm condition as required by the dealers. This
fruit should arrive in the market perfectly hard. Fruit that is
beginning to soften, even though it may be in prime condition
for immediate use, will not sell readily. The dealers fear the
risk of loss in case the fruit is not placed with consumers imme-
The market for avocados is limited at present by reason of
the high price, and in most inland cities this fruit is little known.
Experience has gone far enough, however, to demonstrate that
once the avocado becomes known and of moderate price, there
will be markets for large quantities. First-class avocados in
good condition sell in San Francisco for about $2.50 per dozen.
and there is little difficulty in disposing of all that arrive at the
present time, provided only that they are firm and of good


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