The goal of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association (NSFGA) is to assist in the success of its members by fostering the growth and development of an economically viable and sustainable Nova Scotia tree fruit industry.
NSFGA is a member-driven, non-profit agricultural commodity association representing the interests of tree fruit growers in Nova Scotia.
The Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association 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 Nova Scotia. 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. Today, Nova Scotia combines a healthy emphasis on local fresh markets as well as a strong and vibrant export market mainly to the United States. This balance has brought new life to the Nova Scotia apple industry, which today produces approximately 1.7 million bushels annually. The Honeycrisp apple variety accounts for the greatest proportion of total production in 2016, with Cortland and McIntosh varieties as the next highest in total production.
Presently, the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association continues to play an important role in the lives of Nova Scotia apple growers and the apple industry. Today, the Association’s goal is to create an economically viable and sustainable Nova Scotia tree fruit industry.