BCTF, fruit co-op should be arms-length

As a consumer and taxpayer I have in the past questioned the practise of B.C. Tree Fruits and their role in the tree fruit industry here in the Okanagan valley.

To the editor:

As a consumer and taxpayer I have in the past questioned the practise of B.C. Tree Fruits and their role in the tree fruit industry here in the Okanagan valley.

BCTF just celebrated its 75 anniversary as a brokerage and selling agency for the 800-odd orchardists in the valley who belong to the B.C. Fruit Growers Association under the direction of president Joe Sardinha, vice-president Fred Steele and general manager Glen Lucas.

With the later than normal start of the harvest season, picking has just started for B.C.-grown Macs and Gala apples and should be arriving in stores locally and throughout Western Canada fairly soon and I would appreciate consumers to buy B.C.-grown and support our valley farmers.

Now, this is when I stop being nice.

BC Tree Fruits should not be importing Washington State apples under any circumstances when they are under the same umbrella as the BCFGA who are also campaigning the public to buy B.C.-grown. Talking about hypocrisy.

Right now BC Tree Fruits are importing North West Fruit fancy Gala apples and Blue Goose Extra fancy Gala’s from Washington State after saying in July that the only time that they import Washington State apples is when their packing house inventory has run out, which is late in the season. This has never happened before at a start of a season in talking with people working in the industry and it should be stopped.

BCTF should have its separate identity from the BCFGA and concentrate on selling and marketing B.C. apples, period.

The time has come to cut the ties whereas BC Tree Fruits, and the Okanagan Tree Fruit Co-operative do not have the same CEO running both organization and time for the orchardist to take back control of what they already own.

 

 

Jeff Bryde,

Kelowna

 

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