BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

September 03, 2010 07:00 ET

Put a Canadian Apple in Your Backpack for Your Teacher Next Tuesday

BMO's Agricultural Bankers Encourage Students to Support Canadian Farmers and Local Food

HALTON HILLS, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 3, 2010) - BMO Bank of Montreal today reaffirmed its long-standing support for Canadian farmers and for learning by encouraging students to give their teacher a locally grown apple on the first day of school.

According to BMO Economics, the apple industry provides $175 million in yearly income for Canadian fruit growers. The industry grows over 400 million kilograms of apples per year, and apples represent 20 per cent of Canadians' fresh fruit consumption.

For well over a century, the tradition of giving a shiny fresh apple to a teacher on the first day of school has symbolized our appreciation for teachers and the desire to start the year off right.

"This is a great opportunity to show our dedicated educators that we care and that we recognize the important role they play in our children's learning, while at the same time to support our farmers who grow the food that fuels those active, healthy minds," said Cathy Pin, a former teacher and Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "With nearly 200 lunches to pack each year, parents are always looking for ways to meet their children's nutritional needs and our local farmers produce everything we need to come up with healthy, tasty and interesting ideas," added Ms. Pin.

"As the annual apple harvest kicks off with some early varieties, it is a great time to reacquaint ourselves with long-time favourites like the McIntosh in Ontario, Lobo in Quebec, the Royal Gala in British Columbia, and the Gravenstein in the orchards of the Atlantic provinces," said David Rinneard, National Manager, Agriculture, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Bringing home locally grown fruits and produce supports our farming communities and helps this vital sector of our economy remain strong and vibrant," added Rinneard.

"Over the past few years, we've noticed an increasing interest in locally grown fruits and produce. When parents bring their children to the farm to pick apples or search for the perfect pumpkin, it gives us a great opportunity to teach them about planting, growing, harvesting, and about how important agriculture is to the health of our community and our economy," says Halton Hills apple grower Bert Andrews, owner of Andrews Scenic Acres.

BMO's roots in the Canadian agricultural sector date back almost 200 years, to 1817, when it first began working with farmers. Today, BMO provides customized loan and deposit solutions to Canada's agri-business owners, the single largest core commercial sector that the bank serves.

How D'You Like Them Apples?

Fast Facts About Apples & Canada's Apple Industry:

  • Apples are Canadians' most popular fresh fruit – on average, we consume 7.82 kg of apples per person/per year
  • Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, followed by Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, are the largest apple producing provinces in Canada
  • Canada is one of the top 25 apple exporting countries
  • Apples have been cultivated for more than 3,000 years and come in thousands of varieties
  • It takes about four apples to make a glass of pure apple juice

Source(s): (BMO Economics, Agriculture and Food Canada/Canadian Horticultural Council)

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