Canada's slow decline continues for apple, pears - The Packer

Canada's slow decline continues for apple, pears

11/09/2010 10:46:04 AM
Tom Karst

Growers that intend to remain in the industry are turning to newer, more popular varieties such Ambrosia and Honeycrisp and new, modern intensive planting systems in an attempt to remain competitive with imports. To assist producers adapt to industry pressures and changing markets, Canada’s federal and provincial authorities established replant programs (see the Policy Section) back in 2008.

PEARS Post also forecasts a further decline of 10.7 percent in fresh pear production, down to 7.5 TMT during MY 2010/11 from a level of 8.4 TMT in 2009/10. In addition to the longer term declining trend in the profitability of pear cultivation, a major specific factor was the slow death of the pear processing industry in Canada. In 2008 CanGro closed the St. Davids pear cannery in Ontario, the last one of 32 fruit canning plants that existed in the province.

Bearing area has declined by 12 percent since MY 2009/10, while overall pear planted area declined by nearly 45 percent over the past decade. Pear production is also down by the same percentage since MY 2001/02.

FRESH TABLE GRAPES Canada has systematically developed its wine industry over the past two decades. Today, about 70-80 TMT of grapes are produced annually and used for producing wine and other processed products (such a grape juice).

The two provinces that supply Canadian grapes are Ontario, with a market share of about 75 percent, and British Columbia accounting for the balance. By contrast, only a small fraction of Canada's grape production consists of fresh table grapes. Based on available data from Statistics Canada and information from provincial authorities,

Post estimates that Canada produces about 3-4 TMT of fresh table grapes annually. Domestic consumption is basically satisfied through imports of table grapes, with annual volumes around 180-190 TMT, in recent years, over half of which originates in United States.

Consumption: Canadian per capita consumption of apples, pears and grapes continues to remain relatively stable, a trend that has been observed over the past 30 years. However, Statistics Canada is reporting a slow increase in per capita consumption of fresh fruits in recent years. Factors that have contributed to this upward trend and that may very likely continue to shape consumption trends in the future include: an increasingly aware



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