Organic apple acreage has been expanding in many parts of the world, including South America and Europe, reports David Granatstein, sustainable agriculture specialist with Washington State University. The only region reporting a decrease in organic acreage is New Zealand.

As of 2007, Europe was the major organic apple-producing region with 34,380 acres—more than half the world’s acreage. Italy, a major player, produces more than 2 million boxes, mostly for export to Germany and the United Kingdom. Argentina shipped 900,000 boxes of organic apples to Europe in 2007.

Areas that have a dry climate in the summer and cooler winters are typically more successful in producing organic apples than those with humid climates, but production in Germany and Poland has been expanding. European growers have been planting scab-resistant varieties, and European markets are more willing to accept fruit of lower quality, with some blemishes, Granatstein said.