An apple a day
By David Manly
Jul. 13, 2012, Waterloo, ON – The Canadian government has invested $1.5 million for Martin’s Family Fruit Farm to create a new line of apple crisps and cider. The project is expect to, in the next four year, increase demand for Canadian apples, offer a premium to growers on second-grade apples and create up to 30 new full-time positions.
Photo: (Left to right) Todd Cowan (Woolwich Township Mayor), Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, Kevin Martin (President, Martin’s Family Fruit Farm) and MP Harold Albrecht (Kitchener-Conestoga) trying apple crisps at the announcement.
Kevin Martin, the president of Martin’s Family Fruit Farm says that this project stemmed from strategic planning throughout the company as a way to create value-added products from lower grade apples. “We experimented with various products and we landed on dehydrated apple crisps because we felt it fit into our company objectives as well as being on trend with consumers desire for a healthy snack,” he said.
The farm supplements over 60 per cent of its apply supply with produce from 40 local Ontario growers. The investment in Martin’s Family Fruit Farm will help dozens of local farmers maximize their resources and increase their competitiveness with the United States.
Martin added that the $1.5 million government investment will be used to purchase production line equipment, primarily a large dehydrator, and to help cover marketing expenses.
The new production line will slice apples into rings (with the skin left on), and dehydrate and package them without any additives or preservatives. The production equipment and processing capacity required for these types of crisps does not currently exist in the sector. The by-products from apple crisp production will be used to produce apple cider.
The costs of the dehydrated apple snacks and cider have yet to be finalized, but Martin says that they will be available starting November 2012 in various retail outlets.
For more information, visit Martin’s Family Fruit Farm.