Scotian Gold, the Canadian cooperative sees an increasing demand for their apples in the South East Asian markets. “We’ve developed the Scotian Gold brand identity in the Asian market through key investments with in-store promotions and targeted digital assets directly with retailers. We have expanded our global presence particularly in Asia in multiple markets,” says Samantha Allen, Marketing Manager of Scotian Gold.
Samantha Allen, Marketing Manager of Scotian Gold.
They are making in-roads in Asia, particularly Vietnam and Singapore. The domestic apple market is used to elevate the demand for local apples, while the company is doing well in the US market too.
“We ship to all major retail banners across Canada. In addition Scotian Gold’s premium Honeycrisp is highly sought after in the US market. We have continued to expand our presence in this crucial market through our key strategic partnership with New York Apples Sales, who have tremendous reach and in-market expertise. Scotian Gold sees the domestic apple market as an opportunity to continue to elevate the demand for local Canadian East Coast apples by investing in new varieties and maintaining our commitment to quality. Demand for our Honeycrisp in the US has continued to strengthen through our investment in quality and storage techniques combined with having the best growers in the industry. Demand for many varieties has continued to increase in the South East Asian market, particularly for Canadian apples. Current market conditions have proven that apples remain a great value option as shoppers face increased budget strains with inflation.”
Scotian Gold Cooperative stores and packs 65% of the apple production in Atlantic Canada. It is the largest apple packing and storage operation in Eastern Canada. Their fruit arrives from more than 50 family operated apple orchards across the province, that covers over 3,000 acres (over 1,200 hectares). They have three country store locations in Coldbrook, Brooklyn and Truro, Nova Scotia. These locations sell their agriculture as well as pet and horse products. The main office for Scotian Gold Apples together with their production and packing plant is in Coldbrook, Nova Scotia.
Part of the Scotian Gold team at the recent 2023 CPMA Exhibition in Toronto, Canada.
Allen says Honeycrisp makes up over half of their fruit. “We also have Ambrosia, SweeTango, Gala and smaller volumes of traditional varieties like McIntosh, Cortland and Jonagold. The high value cultivars continue to increase in volume. Our harvest season for apples begins in mid-August and runs until mid-November. We are installing a new pre-sort system this summer that will be operational for the 2023 marketing season. We are also in the midst of a storage expansion that will also be operational by harvest 2023. We are experiencing a normal spring and expect to have a normal harvest this year.”
“Scotian Gold is located in a unique micro climate with excellent growing conditions. All of our family farms are located only a few miles from the Bay of Fundy with protection from two mountain ranges on either side of the Annapolis Valley. Our hot days and cool nights produce our world class colour and eating experience. Our strategic investment in packing, storage and harvest technology stands out. We have the best growers in the world ranging from young families to fifth generation growers. Scotian Gold is located only one hour from the Port of Halifax, which continues to expand,” says Allen.
The company has the same challenges faced by fresh produce businesses around the world, namely – freight, labour, increased production in other major regions, increased growing and packaging costs. “One of the biggest challenges we have set for ourselves is to be a leader in sustainable packaging options.”
Proliferation of apple varieties
“One of the most exciting things that we do is search the world for the next great apple. Our growing conditions are unique, so varieties must be tested before we can consider planting. This testing allows us to look at small volumes of fruit from many breeding programs from around the world. This is a low risk to our growers and a huge benefit to our cooperative. The diversity in shape, colour, flavour, harvest dates and growing challenges makes this continually interesting.
“More apple varieties being on the shelf is an indication the apple category is in a transition period. All of the innovation and work by our growers will not end up in more and more apples on the shelf, but rather a transition to new, innovative varieties with elevated eating experiences. As the category develops and some of the heritage varieties decrease in volume, consumers will enjoy a category with innovative, fresh options,” concludes Allen.
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Tel: +1 902 679 2247