Local apple growers cash in on high demand
Grafton, N.S. farmer Andy Parker says there is a huge demand for apples after dry, hot weather devastated apple crops in Ontario and parts of the United States this summer.
Published Monday, September 10, 2012 6:53PM ADT
Apple sauces, jams and juices are turning into liquid gold for Nova Scotia growers.
Dry, hot weather devastated apple crops in Ontario and parts of the United States this summer, causing demand for the fruit to be higher than usual and turning a profit for Maritime farmers.
“We have a pretty good crop in Nova Scotia,” says Grafton, N.S. farmer Andy Parker. “There is a huge demand for every apple you can grow.”
Unfavourable weather has produced fruitless crops for many Ontario and American famers so apple growers, packers and processors in Nova Scotia are stepping up to fulfill the demand and reap the rewards of the apple shortage.
“That demand has had a great impact on what we think the value will be and the prices will be for our products,” says Michael Van Meekeren of Van Meekeren Farms.
The less desirable apples, usually saved for processing into pies, sauces, juices and jams, are in such high demand this year farmers anticipate they will fetch prices comparable to the fresh fruit picked for eating - an expense that could be passed on to consumers.
Van Meekeren says it is too early to say exactly how much more producers will make, but expectations are high.
“I can see just very roughly, an increase of 20 to 30 per cent,” he says.
“We could be in for a once in a lifetime good year,” says Parker.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl