In recent years, along with the constantly growing interest of consumers in organic food, the number of organic apple orchards is also increasing, especially in European Union countries.
Organic trends in European orchards constitute a very broad topic. It concerns both the responsible use of plant protection products and the growing interest of fruit growers in converting crops towards bio production.
Responsible use of plant protection products is one of the biggest challenges in apple production today. Many controversies were aroused, for example, by the use of systemic agents, the residues of which may affect the quality of fruit. In response to this challenge, the European Union is introducing increasingly stringent regulations regarding their use. In this context, it is worth mentioning the specific actions of the European Commission, which for years has been reviewing active substances used for plant protection and systematically removing the most harmful ones from the register (this applies not only to organic or integrated crops, but also to conventional crops).
More and more fruit farms in the European Union decide to use organic farming methods. Let us remind you that these methods exclude the use of synthetic plant protection products and fertilizers in favour of agents of natural origin and all biological plant protection methods. The use of natural plant protection methods not only does not threaten the population of wild animals, but also helps maintain natural ecological processes by supporting them. This, in turn, reduces the pressure from pests and makes it easier to carry out protection treatments in orchards.
According to data published by the European Commission, in the last 10 years the number of organic apple orchards in the European Union has increased by over 60%. This clearly indicates an increase in the industry’s interest in this type of production. The main reason for this trend is the growing awareness of consumers about the impact of food production on the natural environment and knowledge about the benefits of consuming organic products.
Increased demand for ecology
An important reason for the growing popularity of organic fruit production in the European Union is the increase in consumer demand for organic products. More and more people are aware of the benefits of consuming products from organic farming. These products, being more natural, are characterized by exceptional taste. The growing interest in ecology among consumers also means better earnings for fruit growers, because customers are willing to pay much more for fruit from organic production than for products from conventional production. Therefore, fruit growers who switch to organic apple production can count not only on greater demand for their products, but also on better earnings, which positively affects their business.
The increase in the number of organic apple orchards in the European Union is an extremely beneficial phenomenon - both for consumers and fruit growers, as well as for the natural environment. Thanks to sustainable production methods, the fruit produced in this way is of high quality in terms of the lack of residues of synthetic plant protection products, fruit growers obtain better earnings, and organic fruit production has a positive impact on biodiversity.
To sum up, apples from Europe, regardless of their production methods, are characterized by exceptional nutritional values and high quality. Their wide range of flavours offered due to the multitude of varieties grown on the Old Continent is also significant. Among the numerous varieties of European apples, we can find, among others, sweet and yellow Golden Delicious, crispy Red Delicious with a dark red peel and pleasantly sour Idared. In 2022, apple production in the EU amounted to approx. 12.4 million tons, of which 217,995,782 kg reached the Egyptian market and 26,853,824 kg - the Jordanian market.