Okanagan Specialty Fruits is thrilled to share big news – the first nonbrowning Arctic® apple varieties are about to be deregulated in the United States!
This milestone is nearly two decades in the making, as Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny apples represent OSF’s first products since our inception in 1996. We could not have achieved this without our small-but-mighty, grower-led team and all our supporters in the agriculture and biotech industries. And, of course, all the consumers who told us they can’t wait for nonbrowning apples!
Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Services (APHIS) announced its decision to deregulate the first two Arctic varieties, and it is expected their final environmental assessment (EA) and plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) will be published soon.
For our fellow growers, this means that Arctic trees can now be purchased and grown just like any other apple trees (so let us know if you’re interested in planting!). For consumers, it means that we will be working hard to get as many trees in the ground as possible so that you’ll be able to purchase Arctic apples in stores within the next few years.
Since it takes apple trees a number of years to produce significant amounts of fruit, it will likely be 2016 before any Arctic Granny or Arctic Golden apples are available for small, test-markets. Following that, we expect increasing amounts of fruit each year, including additional nonbrowning varieties like Arctic® Gala and Arctic® Fuji.
We’re very excited for everyone who touches apples to experience the benefits of nonbrowning apples, and encourage you to read about the significant value they offer to growers, packers, freshcut and traditional processors, foodservice, retailers, and most of all, consumers.
The supply-chain can feel confident knowing that Arctic apples are likely the most tested apples in existence. Rigorously reviewed by multiple regulatory bodies, all evaluations reach the same conclusion – Arctic apples present no unique risks and are just as safe and healthful as any other apple.
Thanks again for your continued support of Arctic apples, biotechnology, the apple industry and our goal of helping people to eat more apples. We hope you will be enjoying the benefits of nonbrowning apples very soon!