The mission statement of The Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association (NSFGA) is to assist its members to be successful, by fostering the growth and development of a viable and sustainable Nova Scotia tree fruit industry.
In order to be successful in its mission, the NSFGA represents the interests of the Nova Scotia Tree Fruit growers, packers, and processors, nationally and internationally. It promotes the tree fruit industry and provides support for its sustainability through the delivery of services in the areas of: Production Technology, Crop Use, Grower Education, Technical Transfer, and Scientific Research and Development. The NSFGA monitors the federal and provincial governments’ agricultural policies and, in working toward the betterment of the tree fruit industry, inputs to the development of government tree fruit programs and provides for their subsequent implementation.
The NSFGA was established in 1863 under the leadership of Dr. Charles Hamilton and Lt. Col. Robert Grant Haliburton. The primary goals of the association were to promote Nova Scotia apples internationally and to collect information on new varieties, diseases, insects and other data to pass along to growers. From its beginning, the NSFGA has ensured that the apple industry was a key player in the advancement of agriculture in this area. The Fruit Growers’ Association was a leader in establishing the Wolfville School of Horticulture in 1894 and the Kentville Experimental Farm in 1910. Nova Scotian apples were displayed by the Association in many world exhibitions, and were praised and rewarded for their fine quality.
The NSFGA led the way in promoting Nova Scotia apples in the export market. The Association’s promotions were very effective in Great Britain, and as a result, by the early part of the 20th century, Great Britain was the leading buyer of Nova Scotia apples. Unfortunately, the shipment of apples to Britain was virtually halted during the First and Second World Wars. Following the Second World War, trade picked up once again, but never to the same degree as before. The outcome was a switch in emphasis from the export market to the local fresh markets and the local processing industry. This change brought new life to the Nova Scotia apple industry, which today produces approximately three million bushels annually. The McIntosh apple variety accounts for the greatest proportion of total production, with the remainder of the crop consisting mainly of the Cortland, Gravenstein, Honeycrisp, Idared, Red Delicious, Spartan, and Spy varieties.