Ambrosia levy goes to vote in Canada

Apple growers in the Okanagan will vote to renew or abandon a levy on Ambrosia apples used to pay for research and marketing. The 2.5 cents-a-pound levy was introduced in 2001, and was renewed in 2006 and 2011. The current five-year mandate expires in June 2016.

The levy is paid by the first receivers, such as BC Tree Fruits, to the New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council.

The Ambrosia apple is the first apple in B.C. to have a levy, said Jim Campbell, New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council member. “The purpose is to pay for promotional research for the variety,” he said.

Promotional marketing includes tastings, displays and attending various events to promote the Ambrosia, said Campbell. The levy also contributes to funding for research to improve the storage and quality of the apple.

The vote to renew or abandon the levy will take place in the spring. In the meantime, Campbell and other council members hope to speak with apple growers and answer any questions about the levy.

While most of the Ambrosia apples are distributed throughout B.C., they are also sent to Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the United States and Asia.

“We’re trying to cultivate those export markets,” said Campbell. “It’s relatively unknown in other parts of the world.”

In the early 1990s, there were two or three acres of Ambrosia apple orchards in the Okanagan, said Campbell. Now there are more than 1,000 Ambrosia acres in the area.

In 2015, growers in the Okanagan produced 750,000 cartons of Ambrosia apples, or 30,000,000 pounds of apples. In 2016, production is expected to grow to 800,000 cartons.

For more information:
Jim Campbell
Ambrosia Council
Tel: +1 250-689-0408

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