Jun 10, 2021Ontario apple growers mark Local Food Week
As Ontario marks Local Food Week, the province’s apple growers have been making sure locally grown apples are a top-of-mind food choice with consumers through support from the Hon. Ernie Hardeman and the Government of Ontario.
Ontario Apple Growers just completed a successful marketing campaign to highlight Ontario apples as a versatile and healthy food choice that ran throughout apple season – from fall harvest right through the winter months.
“As apple growers, we celebrate local food every day. We have just come through blossom season, and we are excited to see that the 2021 apple crop is now underway in Ontario,”apple grower Cathy McKay, chair of the Ontario Apple Growers, said in a news release “Ontario apples are a classic local food that is loved by consumers of all ages, and we take every opportunity to promote them that we can.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic began re-shaping consumer eating habits towards an even stronger focus on healthy diets and eating close to home this past year, Ontario Apple Growers ramped up its marketing activities to put local apples into the spotlight.
Thanks to funding support of over $81,000 from the Ontario Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, a successful campaign involving food bloggers and influencers as well as social media, advertising and marketing activities was achieved. During that time, awareness of Ontario apple availability, varieties, uses and attributes increased by 20%.
“Ontario is celebrating Local Food Week by supporting the Ontario Apple Growers,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This investment has helped Ontario Apple Growers educate and promote the amazing variety of apples that are grown by more than 200 members across the province.”
Ontario produces approximately 15 main varieties of apples along the shores of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. The farm gate value of the Ontario apple crop is approximately $90 million, which includes sales to fresh and processing markets as well as on-farm/pick-your-own.
The Ontario Apple Growers represents 200 commercial apple farmers in the province. Visit here for recipe ideas and grower profiles.