We’ve been growing apples in the beautiful Okanagan Valley for 18 years and have loved every minute of it. More often than not, we’re up before the sun in order to look after our fruit, and if you read Louisa’s post from last fall you know that we truly embrace the orchardist lifestyle.
We didn’t found Okanagan Specialty Fruits because we don’t like apples the way they are, or to make a quick, easy buck (believe me when I say that nothing is quick or easy about bringing Arctic® apples to market!). We did it because we’ve seen declining apple consumption for the past twenty years and want to get people eating more of them!
Wouldn’t it be great if it was commonplace to grab a bag of delicious, affordable apple slices with no off-taste or treatments? To use nonbrowning apples in salads, schools, airplanes and anywhere else you can think of instead of less healthy options? Not to mention saving countless apples that would otherwise being thrown out because of superficial scuff marks!
We often touch on the benefits that nonbrowning apples can provide throughout the supply chain to all members of the apple industry. Yet, we often hear claims that the apple industry’s against us. Let us be clear about a couple things: First, we are as much a part of the apple industry as anyone. Not only are we growers ourselves, but a large number of our shareholders are as well. We are not outsiders – we live and breathe the apple industry.
Secondly, it is not Arctic® apples, nor biotechnology as a whole that some industry organizations are opposed to – it’s the misconceptions that many consumers have about this technology that cause concern. None of the industry groups believe that Arctic® apples represent a human or environmental concern; they’re worried that some consumers may negatively react to all apples because of their misunderstanding of the science behind our apples.
It’s not a matter of OSF vs. the apple industry; we share the same goal of getting people eating more apples. In reality, the true issue is a shared responsibility between OSF and the industry to address misconceptions about biotech foods through education. The more we work cooperatively to provide evidence-based information on the safety and science of biotech foods, the sooner the apple industry and consumers can enjoy the benefits they offer!