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Is your fruit GMO free?

All fruit grown by BC Tree Fruits is supplied from grower families, and are produced conventionally with no genetic modifications. The trees are sourced through nurseries that have not been modified in any way, which makes our products fall under the “non-GMO” label. 

Some varieties of apples and cherries have been bred at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland, BC. The mission of the Centre is to “generate knowledge and technologies to promote sustainable and economically viable production of wholesome foods and novel bioproducts from high-value horticultural crops for local, national and international producers and markets.”

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are foods produced from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA using genetic engineering methods.

Why is wax applied to your apples?

If you picked an apple fresh off the tree and rubbed that apple on your shirt, you would notice that it shined. Apples naturally produce wax to protect its high water content. Without this wax, apples lose their moisture through normal respiration and transpiration, drastically affecting the fresh, crisp taste you enjoy.

At the packing house, apples are ran through water and brushed to remove excess organic matter before they are packed. This packing process removes the fruit's natural wax coating.

To protect our high quality BC Tree Fruits apples, we apply a food grade wax. The wax we use is certified to be safe to eat. It comes from food-grade ingredients and food-grade shellac.

Are waxed apples harmful to eat?

No, these are not harmful to eat. At BC Tree Fruits we only use food grade wax. This is similar to what is used on chocolate and vegetables. By only applying regulated, food grade wax we are able to ensure that we are only supplying the safest product possible.

Does the wax contain allergens that I should be concerned about?

It is of the utmost importance that the apples we sell to our customers are safe for them to eat.

The wax applied to BC Tree Fruits apples is guaranteed to not contain ingredients derived from milk (casein), eggs, peanuts, seafood, sesame, soy, sulphites, tree nuts, mustard, glutens(wheat), corn or any other priority allergen. Furthermore, the wax does not contain any Generically Modified Organism ingredients.

Who is BCTF in comparison to BCFGA?

BC Tree Fruits (BCTF) is a cooperative owned by its members, who are all also growers. The cooperative operates BC Tree Fruits, Growers Supply Co. Ltd. and BC Tree Fruits Cider Company. 

BC Fruits Growers Association (BCFGA) is an industry association representing all fruit growers’ interests across BC. Some of their initiatives are lobbying governments for positive change to various programs such as risk management, crop insurance, replant and the Net Income Stabilization Program. All members of BCTF are also members of the BCFGA.

How do microclimates affect growing conditions?

Several microclimates exist within the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, though we are generally known for our semi-arid desert climate. It is the perfect environment for growing our high quality apples, pears, cherries, and soft fruits. Our growers also benefit from pristine high mountain lakes for irrigation. Growers within the various microclimates manage their specific orchards to take full advantage of the unique growing conditions and produce the highest quality fruit possible.

 

Where and how do you package your fruit?

All our fruit is packed within our packing facilities, except for some early season apple varieties like Sunrise and table grapes, which are packed in the orchards and blueberries which are grown and packed in Pitt Meadows at Meadow Berry Farms. We have three packing facilities located across the Okanagan Valley: Winfield, Kelowna, and Oliver. We pack our apples in Winfield and Oliver. Pears are packed in Kelowna. Our cherries are packed in Kelowna and Oliver, and the remainder of our summer fruits are packed in Oliver.
 
Each product is packaged in different ways defined by the retail partner and end location. For most of our apples and pears, there is a bulk or bag option, and for some varieties there are additional packaging options. Summer fruits are packed in a variety of different packaging options. All the fruit is packed in one of the three facilities and shipped out directly from there to our customers.

How do you still have fresh apples almost year round?

There are two ways to store apples and pears: "Regular Storage" and "Controlled Atmosphere". For regular storage, think of your refrigerator - now take that and turn an entire warehouse into that same refrigerator. Some apples and pears, as well as the rest of our other fruits, are stored in large, cool temperature rooms. We store apples and some pears in both Regular Storage and Controlled Atmosphere storage, or CA. This technology allows us to control not only the temperature at which the apples are stored, but the atmosphere as well. What does that all mean? Well, CA storage slows the respiration of the fruit, which in turn stalls maturation ensuring the fruit lasts longer.
 
The CA storage process begins when the fruit is loaded into a sealed, controlled storage room. From there, we close the room and lower the oxygen levels while maintaining the temperature and humidity in the room. Once we are ready to access the fruit in the room, we slowly introduce oxygen back in. Exact conditions in the room vary depending on the variety. At BC Tree Fruits, we have the largest and most efficient CA storage facilities in the Okanagan Valley, which allows you, our consumers, to enjoy fresh local apples almost all year long.

How should I store my fruits?

Please visit our products using the links below to find out how to get the most out of your fruits.

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