For many people, the idea of Canada conjures up visions of snow-laden pines, frozen lakes and sharp winter winds. It can be hard to believe that in summer and fall, parts of this northern country are transformed into gardens overflowing with sweet harvests - strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, grapes, peaches, pears, plums, apples, cherries, raspberries and many other fruits. They're wonderful eating in themselves, but they're also the magic ingredients for hundreds of mouth-watering pastries and confections, from apple pies to strawberry crêpes.
Canada's fruit industry has adapted well to our cold climate and short growing seasons. Southern Ontario and southwest British Columbia produce much of our fruit, since they enjoy about 180 frost-free days every year. Fruit is also grown in quantity in parts of Quebec and the Maritimes, even though the frost-free season there is closer to 120 days annually.
British Columbia grows the most grapes, blueberries and cranberries, while Ontario is the largest apple producer. Apples used to be Canada's most valuable harvest, but our wild and domestic blueberry crop has vaulted into the lead. Canada, in fact, is the world's largest producer of wild blueberries, which have a special appeal for today's health-conscious consumers because they are rich in antioxidants and need almost no pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
Quality and care
Canada is a global leader in growing, storing and processing fruits in innovative and environmentally responsible ways. And, since our climate is cold and our growing season brief, Canadian scientists are committed to breeding new fruit varieties to improve hardiness and increase yields.
Our fruits are also grown in clean, healthy conditions. Winter's cold temperatures means our pesticide use can be significantly lower than it is in many other countries. Canadian producers also monitor pest populations to ensure that they apply the minimum required amounts of pesticides at the times when they will be most effective.
In addition, Canadian fruit growers are developing integrated fruit production (IFP) guidelines for their operations. IFP was developed in conjunction with international guidelines such as EUREPGAP in Europe, and encourages the production of high-quality fruit using ecologically sound methods and a minimum of agricultural chemicals.
Taste the Canadian difference
Want to bite into a crisp, sweet Canadian apple? Or feast on fresh Canadian strawberries or blueberries? The Canadian fruit industry has all this to offer and much more. For further information, please visit:
- Agri-Food Trade Service
- B.C. Fruit Growers' Association
- B.C. Tree Fruits Ltd.
- B.C. Blueberry Council
- British Columbia Cranberry Growers Association
- British Columbia Wine Institute
- Saskatchewan Fruit Growers' Association
- Grape Growers of Ontario
- Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association
- Fédération des producteurs de pommes du Québec
- Quebec Wild Blueberries
- New Brunswick Wild Blueberry Growers Association
- Nova Scotia Fruit Growers' Association
- Ontario Apple Growers
- Canadian Produce Marketing Association
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