Fruit growers consider governance changes

Members of the B.C. Fruit Growers Association will hold a special meeting in early November to discuss a reorganization.

As the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association edges closer to its 125th year, the executive is proposing a number of changes in its governance structure which president Jeet Dukhia says would make it more democratic.

Growers are being invited to a special general meeting of the BCFGA Nov. 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Ramada conference centre in Kelowna to discuss several proposed changes.

At present there are about 540 members of the grower lobby group, but Dukhia remembers there being 1,500 to 1,700 20 years ago.

With decreased numbers of growers, one of the proposals is to reduce the four regions to two, north and south, which would align the association with the B.C. Tree Fruits Co-operative, which also elects representatives from the north and south.

The division would be at Peachland, with growers in that community part of the north.

As well, instead of directors being elected for a one-year term, the executive is proposing two-year staggered terms, with some elected every year.

Dukhia said they would also like to get a feeling from growers about getting rid of the delegate system and moving to a general vote of all members on all resolutions. Currently only delegates elected from the four regions are eligible to vote on business, although all members vote on election of the executive members.

Another proposal is that the son, daughter or spouse of the orchard owner be delegated the right to vote for the owner, and another is that annual general meetings no longer be held in January but in late February when Okanagan roads should be in better condition to allow all members to attend.

Dukhia said to celebrate the BCFGA’s 125th anniversary next year, the Canadian Horticultural Council will hold its agm here in Kelowna in March. That will bring about 500 delegates from various farm commodity groups from across the country to the Okanagan, he said.

He is a director of the CHC.



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