Justice Minister David Lametti and Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr share a smile at Hillcrest Farm during the federal investment announcement. (David Venn - Kelowna Capital News)

Feds invest a quarter million into B.C. cherry industry

South Korea is the next big market the B.C. Cherry Association is aiming for

The federal government is investing $241,000 into the BC Cherry Association to enhance global market research and grow Canada’s cherry exports internationally.

Justice Minister David Lametti stopped in at Hillcrest Farm on Tuesday, Aug.13, with Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr and members of the BC Cherry Association to announce recent funding on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and to take a picture at the Hillcrest cherry face cut-outs.

“This investment will support the sector in marketing high quality and great tasting cherries to customers here in Canada and around the world,” Minister Lametti said.

READ MORE: Possibly worst Okanagan cherry season in 20 years

READ MORE: Cherry season is only a few weeks away and as healthy as ever

With investment from the industry, in which members of the cherry association pay a levee for, the total comes to $482,000.

Sweet cherries are the eighth largest fruit commodity in land usage at 2,097-hectares yet are the second most valuable fruit export with over 10,000 metric tonnes being shipped overseas, according to 2017 statistics published by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Following the United States, China and Japan are the next leading consumers of Canadian fruits, but David Geen, vice-president of the cherry association, not only are they looking to increase exports to existing markets but narrow their sight on other Asian countries.

“(South) Korea is a very important cherry market and that’s the next one we are working on,” Geen said. “So we hope that that’s going to be in a couple of years.”

READ MORE: North Okanagan cherry crops take bigger hit than south

Minister Lametti expressed the importance of the B.C. cherry industry in context with the Canadian economy. He said that 96 per cent of sweet cherries are harvested in B.C.

“You are vital to our government’s strong trade agenda,” he said. “And that’s why we want to keep your industry strong and growing.”

The government, according to Minister Lametti, set a target of $75 billion in agri-food export by 2025; which the cherry industry is paramount in.



David Venn
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at david.venn@kelownacapnews.com
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter

Just Posted

Netflix confirms new ‘Virgin River’ series filmed in Agassiz

Filming for the romance drama took place on Pioneer Avenue last spring

Do you hear what I hear? Hundreds attend 52nd annual Agassiz carol festival

Holiday carolers sang the night away and raised almost $2,000 for the food bank

Planning price tag revealed for futuristic ‘We Town’ concept in Abbotsford

Developer says highrises would house 30,000, but Abbotsford mayor says project is in wrong place

Petition for free menstrual products turned over to UFV president

Almost 1,300 signatures collected calling for all campus bathrooms to be stocked

New arts-technology focused high school coming to Chilliwack for 2021

Education Minister announces $15.4 million and January construction start for new southside school

Agassiz’s Dickens Tea sells out for seventh year

The annual holiday event saw visitors enjoy high tea and historic talks

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Surrey councillor wants the policing transition process to ‘immediately stop’

Brenda Locke to make motion at Dec. 16 meeting to reconsider current plan

Man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in 2017 Stanley Park stabbing

Lubomir Kunik was found by a man out walking his dog on the beach late on Feb. 1, 2017

Vancouver homeless camp brings community, safety, home, says resident

Encampment in the city’s Downtown Eastside is one of many that have sprung up in B.C.

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read