Is Ontario’s Fruit Season Squashed?

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TORONTO — Ontario retailers, restaurants, jam producers and bakers will likely be forced to source much of their apples, plums and cherries outside of the province this year as unseasonably warm temperatures in March, combined with a cold snap in April, have had a devastating impact on fruit in Ontario, Quebec and the northeastern United States.

“There’s nothing — not one blossom,” Steve Smith, owner of Smiths’ Apples and Farm Market in Port Elgin, Ont., told The Globe and Mail. “I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Apples, cherries and plums have been the hardest hit. Ontario Apple Growers, which represent 215 commercial apple farmers, expect a 100-per-cent loss in some orchards. This could mean Ontario restaurants will have to source some summer and fall fruits from Washington State, B.C., and China as opposed to local Ontario apples such as McIntosh, Spartan and Crispin.

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