The Galilee Development Company (GDC) estimates the Israeli apple harvest will reach 100,000 tons this year. The harvest has so far been successful in both quantity and quality.
In the previous winter, Israel received extremely high levels of rainfall and the temperatures were relatively low, both of which were contributing factors to the successful harvest this summer.
The announcement came ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when Jews have a custom of dipping apple in honey to signify the sweet new year ahead. Apple sales typically spike before the holiday.
The GDC says the quality of the current apple harvest is exceptional in terms of size, color and flavor of the fruit, thanks to the efforts of the Research and Development (R&D) Center in the Galilee and Golan regions.
According to Israel’s Plant Council, the area allocated for apple farming in Israel totals at approximately 7,400 acres. Ninety five percent of the area is located in the Golan Heights and the mountains of the Galilee, where the high altitude and cold climate guarantee the high quality of the fruit.
Along with the locally grown apples, Israelis will consume up to 25,000 tons of imported apples, mostly from Europe and the US.
Amos Lin, head of the Apple Division at the Plant Council, said that R&D is a key component of their “Apple 2030” initiative. They promote higher quality produce, conduct research to develop new varieties and make sure the varieties are suitable for the Israeli climate.
He also said that apple growing is a significant part of the regional economy in northern Israel and that they feel increasing pressure from the imported agricultural produce. He emphasized the impotence of the rural communities to Israel’s security, as many of them are located on the border with Lebanon and Syria.