News

Changes underway at fruit co-op

The new CEO of the Okanagan Tree Fruit Co-operative has begun making some changes in structure, and says he is reviewing other plans that were instigated by his predecessor.

Alan Tyabji  says he has set up a southern region of the co-op, which has its head office in Kelowna, and has named a senior manager to work out of facilities in Oliver.

Dennis Fleming, who was in charge of quality in the Kelowna facility, has now set up shop down there, to provide someone growers can connect with directly and locally.

As well, he said, a decision has been made to upgrade the Oliver cherry line, with new equipment and increased capacity, so that will become the co-op’s main cherry facility.

It will ultimately exceed Kelowna’s in both modernity and capacity, although he said the Kelowna line is more than adequate.

Plans are to focus on running export quality cherries with the Kelowna equipment.

And, there’ll be a more aggressive cherry export program, said Tyabji.

For several years, a number of properties owned by the co-op in communities like Naramata, Summerland and the north end of Kelowna, have been up for sale because they’re no longer being used or they need to be updated.

Tyabji said he is conducting a review of all those properties for sale and is looking at whether all of them will stay on the market.

Some, like the waterfront property in downtown Naramata, won’t change, but overall the plan for the future of co-op facilities is being re-examined, he said.

The OTFC capital plan is also being reviewed to see if it’s still relevant, he said.

Modernization work which would include a state-of-the-art brine chiller and cooler system for the Controlled Atmosphere storage facility in Winfield will still go ahead, although there’s some question now about whether it would be for Kelowna or Winfield, he said.

A $2.7 million grant from the federal/provincial AgriFlex fund was announced early this year to allow the co-op to embark on a $44 million infrastructure modernization, beginning with the new, more environmentally-friendly CA storage system—a $5.25 million project.

Winfield contains more than a quarter of the co-op’s total storage in the valley, and some of the most modern equipment.

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

UBCO Master of Science in Nursing program revised
 
Annual Wine and Dine Thompson-Okanagan event kicks off
 
Lake Country school trustee Deb Butler says school district should take more time on catchment issue
Scott settles for 3rd at B.C. Scotties
 
In Theatres: Boy Next Door; Mortdecai; Cake (VIDEO)
 
Cullen urges feds to stop stalling on treaty deals
B.C. prison crowding probed by auditor
 
Tribunal set to hear complaint from former Celgar employee
 
Newly implemented room tax is already paying off

Community Events, January 2015

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jan 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.