Fruit growers clash at meeting

It was a fractious meeting that saw hundreds of orchardists turf out two of three incumbents on the Okanagan Tree Fruit Co-operative board.

It was a fractious meeting that saw hundreds of orchardists gather in Peachland from around the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys Thursday afternoon to turf out two of three incumbents on the board of the Okanagan Tree Fruit Co-operative and replace them with growers calling for changes.

Exactly what changes they wish to make remains to be seen because in their three-minute talks prior to election, most were not specific. However, there were some shrill voices raised during the business discussions at the five-hour meeting and a lot of finger pointing.

Elected to represent the northern half of the valley on the 10-member board was Karmjit Gill, of Kelowna, while Kirpal Boparai and

Colin Pritchard, also of Kelowna, tied for the second northern post on the board.

Defeated was incumbent Steve Day, along with

Brian Porter, both of Kelowna. Jim Elliot, of Oyama, did not stand for re-election, after serving the first three years of the newly-amalgamated co-operative’s existence as president of the board.

In the south, Ron Vollo, of Summerland, was re-elected, and Darshan Jassar, of Penticton, unseated incumbent Claude Moreira on the board.

The other board members are Sam DiMaria, of Kelowna, Malcolm Mitchell, of Winfield, Philip Patara, of Kelowna, Nirmal Dhaliwal, of Oliver and Jack Machial, of Oliver.

Immediately following the annual general meeting of the OTFC, board members voted Pritchard onto the board, so Boparai was defeated in his bid for a seat.

The board also elected Rob Dawson, of Cawston, as interim president, until a special meeting set for Nov. 9.

Growers complained that they are not making a living in the tree fruit industry, and some suggested the co-operative should take lower quality fruit, rather than diverting it to be processed, which pays just a few cents a pound.

“You’re grading us out of business,” claimed Kelowna grower Brian Witzke, to which Elliot responded that customers demand high quality or they’ll buy their fruit from other producers.

Growers also learned about plans for modernizing the packinghouse infrastructure and about plans for a new CanadaGap certification program for the tree fruit industry.


Just Posted

World Down Syndrome Day: The up side of Down

A Kelowna family’s journey with Down Syndrome: ‘There is tremendous beauty in these kids’

Kelowna cops crack down on drivers using cell phones

Drivers caught talking or texting behind the wheel now face a fine totalling $543

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

West Kelowna mayor meets finance minister to protest speculation tax

Doug Findlater presents Carole James with booklet of info outlining tax’s impact on his city

Kelowna celebrates World Down Syndrome Day

More than 50 people gathered in Kelowna to bring awareness to diversity and difference

Crook’s Corner

Arts and entertainment highlights this week across the Okanagan

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

Rockets’ Foote a finalist for top WHL D-man

Cal Foote named the Western Conference top defenseman; Foote and Dube named all-stars

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Shots fired in Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP are investigating a report of shots fired and a possible explosion at a trailer court

Most Read