'Over 120,000 apples given away in the past 20 years' – Irish apple farmer gives away apples to schools for Halloween

An Irish apple farmer is giving away 6,000 apples to school children to celebrate Hallowe’en this year.

Over the last two decades, Cornelius Traas from Tipperary has given away over 120,000 apples to Irish primary school children, a tradition he’s carried over from his parents.

This year, teachers and children from 32 primary schools will get their apples.

“When I was in school, my parents used to send me and my brother into school with a box of apples for our classes. We did it every year right up until Leaving Cert – my brother as well.”

“We’ve 32 schools every year now that collect the apples every year – it comes to around 200 children in each school and ten teachers, and we have an apple for everyone.”

“If half the class are eating them, all the class are going to eat them… It’s like the Food Dudes who are encouraging children to eat healthy.”

Less than 10pc of apples eaten in Ireland are Irish apples, Traas added.

Elstar is and Irish variety, while pink lady and granny smith are grown abroad.

The eating apples tend to be grown more in the south of Ireland. Less than 10pc eaten here are actually grown here.

“Granny smiths and Pink ladys need a warmer climate, a hotter summer than we have in Ireland. If people are in the habit of consuming those apples, we can’t provide that apple to them. We’re relying on people to choose another.”

However, he added: “Elstars are very popular with consumers in general.”

“Irish apples tend to have larger cells than they do elsewhere, when you bite them, because the cells are bigger, then it reduces more juice, so there’s less chewing to get the juice. They’d probably seem juicier.”

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