When the ambrosia apple was first introduced to the market, it was recognized that special funds would be needed to promote the variety. Consequently, ambrosia growers voted in 2001 to introduce a special levy for marketing and research.
Over the next few months, the New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council will seek input from B.C. ambrosia growers and packers regarding the future and renewal of the current mandatory levy of $0.025 per pound of ambrosia apples.
A plebiscite of ambrosia growers will be held in the spring to decide on the future of the levy.
“Increased plantings mean more production and the need to introduce the variety to new consumers and new markets,” said Bruce Currie, NTFVDC chairperson.
“Promotion in those markets is costly. Growers have a vested interest to maintain a profitable return and it makes good business sense to invest funds to support that.”
Funding has been provided to improve the storability of the apple and to carry out research into certain apple pests. In-store demonstrations at supermarket chains have been used yearly to encourage consumer acceptance.
Social media platforms have been established to engage with consumers and there is attendance at many consumer events such as the Interior Provincial Exhibition.