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Feds help apple growers create new snack


July 4, 2012
By Press release

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July 4, 2012, Waterloo, Ont – More than 40 Ontario apple producers will see an increase in demand for their top-quality apples.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced an investment of $1.5 million for Martin’s Family Fruit Farm to create a new processing line for apple crisps and cider. By 2016, the project is expected to result in an increased annual demand for Canadian apples, offer a premium to growers on second-grade apples, and result in the creation of up to 30 new full-time positions.

The new production line will slice apples into rings (skin left on), and dehydrate and package them without any additives or preservatives. The new mass production equipment and processing capacity for these types of crisps does not currently exist in the sector. By-product from the apple crisp line will be used to produce apple cider.

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Martin’s supplements roughly 65 per cent of its apple supply with produce purchased from more than 40 local Ontario growers. The use of the production by-product to produce apple cider shows a commitment to maximizing the use of and profits from existing agricultural resources and will make the company more competitive with dominant growers in the U.S.

Martin’s Family Fruit Farm is pleased to have the support of the Government of Canada through the Agricultural Innovation Program to establish our new venture,” said Kevin Martin, president of Martin’s Family Fruit Farm. “Together, we will be creating a new opportunity to contribute to the growth and sustainability of the Ontario apple industry.”

The investment is provided through the Agricultural Innovation Program — a $50-million initiative announced as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.