D. Granatstein, E. Kirby
Apples and pears are important fresh produce items in the rapidly expanding organic food sector. Primary markets are the EU and USA, with production occurring in a number of regions of the world. The relatively small size of the organic sector makes it more subject to large price fluctuations with modest changes in production. Estimates of organic apple and pear production area for Washington State, the USA, and internationally, and prices in Washington State, have been compiled since 1999. Despite data gaps, several trends emerge. Global organic apple and pear production both appear to be increasing. But individual countries vary greatly in this regard. Supply-demand dynamics are evident in the declining price premiums for organic apples and pears in Washington that occurred when production expanded rapidly (e.g. organic apple hectares increased 250% from 1998 to 2002). Cultivar choices are important for consumer acceptance as evidenced by the nearly 50% decline in organic ‘Red Delicious’ hectares in Washington State. Climate plays a major role in determining where organic apple and pear production will flourish, given the fewer and often less effective tools for pest control. Large production blocks and fruit packing companies are becoming more dominant in the organic apple and pear sector in several key production regions. Expanding production has spurred more research and industry support for organic temperate tree fruits.
Granatstein, D. and Kirby, E. (2007). THE CHANGING FACE OF ORGANIC TREE FRUIT PRODUCTION. Acta Hortic. 737, 155-162
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.737.19
apple, pear, cultivar, production area, prices

Acta Horticulturae