Quebec apple farmers want government help to deal with changing tastes and climate

MONTREAL — Quebec apple farmers are asking for government help to plant new varieties and modernize their orchards as they try to adapt to climate change and shifting consumer tastes.

Éric Rochon, president of the Quebec apple farmers association, says his group is asking Quebec's agriculture ministry for $30 million over six years.

He says consumers want sweeter and firmer apples and new varieties are more productive.

Rochon says some of those varieties, like the Gala apple, couldn't be grown in Quebec 25 years ago because winters were too cold, but are now an option for farmers.

He says apple growers also want help to protect their orchards against tornadoes and droughts as such events become more common in the province.

Rochon says he expects overall apple production to be down this year after a late frost caused producers in some parts of the province to lose a significant percentage of their crops.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 3, 2023.

The Canadian Press