Big jump in cherry exports good news for Okanagan

Opening the lucrative China market to B.C. cherries has helped increase value of cherry exports by 70 per cent.

B.C. cherries are making a name for themselves around the world.

Agriculture Minister and Kelonwa-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick released figures Tuesday showing cherry exports from B.C. in 2015 were up substantially,both in the volume exported and the the value of those exports.

“I am pleased to report in 2015, B.C. cherry exports increased dramatically from the previous year to 13,600 metric tonnes—a 56 per cent increase—to a value of $91.7 million—a 70 per cent increase,” said Letnick.

“The data also includes a significant rise in sour cherry exports from $2.7 million in 2014 to $11.2 million in 2015.

With the bulk of Canada’s cherry grown in the Okanagan the increases are good news for growers here.

According to Kelowna grower Chancal Ball, whose son Sukpal is the president of the B.C. Cherry Association,changes that helped open the China market to Canadian cherries have been a big help in prompting those increases.

“There is a lot of demand from China for Canadian cherries,” said Bal.

Sukpal is currently in Germany at an international food congress, and his father said interest in Canadian grown produce, particularly soft fruits, is high there.

According to Letnick, the export value of fresh, sweet cherries to China more than doubled in 2015 compared to 2014, rising from $9.9 million to $24 million.

In 2014, led a B.C. delegation with cherry industry representatives on a federal trade mission to China that led helped secure full, unimpeded access for fresh cherries into China.

Bal said that, along the work local growers are doing to not only meet Chinese import criteria but also secure other markets such as in the U.S. and Europe, has also helped push up cherry exports.

The B.C. government’s has said it is trying to make the agrifood sector in this province a $15-billion-a-year industry by 2020.

“We are going to build on this (cherry export) momentum,” said Letnick. “Thanks to the close working relationship with our provincial cherry industry, we look forward to exploring new opportunities with Pacific Rim countries that recently signed the Trans Pacific Partnership.”

He said while British Columbians have always known how good fruit from the Okanagan is, now the rest of the world does too.


Just Posted

B.C. Rural Party co-founder rebukes pro-NDP accusation

Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen disputes being NDP campaign supporter

Incumbent trustee candidate reassesses SOGI 123 impact

Lee-Ann Tiede says mandated student inclusiveness program has some issues

Okanagan Regional Library introduces ASL story-time

The Rutland and Westbank locations will host the events

Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal MP acclaimed for his party’s nomination

Stephen Fuhr runs unopposed as the party’s standard-bearer for the next federal election

Kelowna Rockets ready to take off into regular season

The home opener kicks things off in Kamloops on Friday

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

High spirits after first week of classes at Shuswap’s outdoor school

South Canoe school is taking student learning into the great outdoors

Most Read