Ambrosia apples hit spotlight

A relatively new apple that is gaining popularity in B.C. and around the globe now will be introduced to even more consumers.

The New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council, a group that represents B.C. Ambrosia apple growers, is receiving $50,000 in Buy Local program funding to help promote and increase sales of Ambrosia apples in the province.

The council will be using the funds to educate consumers who are interested in locally grown foods on the benefits of Ambrosia apples and the ideal ways to eat and serve them. The council will be offering tasty samples and recipe ideas at upcoming farmers markets this fall. Other goals include an updated web and social media presence and a plan to introduce British Columbians to the Ambrosia apple farmers who grow this unique variety in the Okanagan.

The Buy Local program offers successful applicants matching funds up to $100,000 to launch or expand local food marketing campaigns.

Building the local market for B.C. foods is a key commitment of government's Agrifoods Strategy, a component of the BC Jobs Plan, to lead the agrifoods sector growth into a $14-billion-a-year industry by 2017.

The provincial government's Buy Local program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.

"The Ambrosia apple has a great story as it was discovered right here in our province and is fast-becoming a made in B.C. success story," said Minister of Agriculture Pat Pimm. "This funding will help the council bring the Ambrosia story to even more British Columbians and I congratulate them on receiving the funding and their passion in spreading the word on this delicious apple."

"We are proud to be leaders in growing nutritious fruit for families right here in B.C. and $50,000 will go a long way to promoting Kelowna-area fruit producers and supporting the local economy," said Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick
 while Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson  had this to say:

"The Buy Local program is an excellent opportunity to promote Okanagan-grown Ambrosia apples throughout B.C. and support our local fruit producers."

New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council vice chair Marc van Roechoudt  also weighed in on the subject.

"The New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council represents Ambrosia apple growers in B.C. and our goal is to get the Ambrosia variety firmly established as a premium apple variety, " he said.  "This new apple is a chance seedling discovered in Wilfrid and Sally Mennell's orchard in the Similkameen valley and they named it Ambrosia for its sweet taste.

"Ambrosia is now an important variety grown in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys and we will be using the funding to promote Ambrosia apples to consumers throughout B.C," added Roechoudt.

Quick Facts:

  • The Okanagan region is home to most of B.C.'s tree-fruit orchards, which generated combined annual revenues of $75 million in 2011.
  • Apples and sweet cherries are B.C.'s two largest tree-fruit crops. Ambrosia is a bi-coloured medium to large apple.
  • It has cream-coloured flesh and the fruit is sweet, low acid, crisp, juicy and aromatic.
  • The Ambrosia was first introduced to the public at the annual Apple Festival in Vancouver.


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