“Whoosh!” is how the peach season started in Ontario with high temperatures in mid-July, moderating to more seasonable temperatures of 26-28°C in the last week of the month.
“These temperatures compress the season,” explains Sarah Marshall, general manager of the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers. “Earlier-maturing varieties started ripening all at once which put stress on the growers to get the crop picked, cooled and packed.”
The peach and nectarine crop will be a little smaller than last year due to winter/spring injury in localized areas such as Jordan and Vineland.
Demand from retailers is high for local fruit. Marshall notes that ads for yellow plums range from $4.88 to $6.99 for a 1.5 litre container.
The Ontario Tender Fruit & Fresh Grape Growers have been awarded funding through the Grassroots Growth Initiative to support a robust promotional campaign this season. Activities include: TV commercials, radio tags, non-skipable digital ads, billboard and transit shelter ads, newspaper articles, retail display bins.
For the new Jupiter fresh table grape, promotions will include in-store sampling, packaging development and social media outreach. Marshall says that new growers have planted Jupiter grapes this year. That development promises more fruit to come to market in the next three to five years.
Overall, more than half (53%) of the 2022 estimated tender fruit crop will be peaches, followed by nectarines (16%), table grapes (11%), Bartlett pears (7%), yellow plums (6%), and European plums (5%), Bosc pears (1%). Apricots finish the list (1%) – a delicacy in Ontario.
Source: Sarah Marshall, July 26, 2022 interview