Where is your apple juice from?
Following on from my earlier post about Open Farm Day, I did a bit more digging about the apple market and in particular importation of Chinese apple juice concentrate. I found an article ‘Made in Canada’ – via China on the Globe and Mail which discusses the issue (along with other food imports from China). It turns out that Canada imports over 21 million litres of apple juice (and concentrate) per year. It appears that most of it is either watered down to make juice (in the case of concentrate) or blended with fresh local apple juice and then sold under the label “Made in Canada”. Canada’s labeling laws only require that 51% of the cost of producing the goods is Canadian in order to label it as “Product of Canada”. It is unclear what expenses can be used in the percentage calculation. If transportation of concentrate from China to Canada can be used in the calculation, it would be quite easy for a juice manufacturer to market Chinese concentrate as Canadian juice. Valuation of water used to dilute the concentrate is also unknown.
Canadian Apple Juice?
I also found an article in the Chronicle Herald entitled- ‘Made in Canada?’ (now expired) which specifically mentions that although Graves brand apple juice in Nova Scotia is made with Maritime grown apples, Graves in Quebec and other markets may contain apple juice concentrate from China. I guess that the only thing to do is unless there is evidence otherwise, assume that your juice is made from imported concentrate. What is a consumer to do when they can’t even tell where their food comes from?
I did recently notice that Graves apple juice specifically states “Made with apples from Atlantic Canada”. Now that still does not guarantee that the juice is made from Atlantic Canadian apples exclusively but that is the implication. It does state that the juice is made from “fresh apples” which means that is not made from concentrate.
At least I know that Coburn (and Gagetown) apple cider is made from local apples…
Others also appear to be concerned with the amount of imported concentrate being used in juice: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/stories/120807dnbusjuice.28107a0.html