Justice Minister David Lametti and Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr share a smile at Hillcrest Farm during the federal investment announcement. (David Venn - Kelowna Capital News)

Feds invest a quarter million into B.C. cherry industry

South Korea is the next big market the B.C. Cherry Association is aiming for

The federal government is investing $241,000 into the BC Cherry Association to enhance global market research and grow Canada’s cherry exports internationally.

Justice Minister David Lametti stopped in at Hillcrest Farm on Tuesday, Aug.13, with Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr and members of the BC Cherry Association to announce recent funding on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and to take a picture at the Hillcrest cherry face cut-outs.

“This investment will support the sector in marketing high quality and great tasting cherries to customers here in Canada and around the world,” Minister Lametti said.

READ MORE: Possibly worst Okanagan cherry season in 20 years

READ MORE: Cherry season is only a few weeks away and as healthy as ever

With investment from the industry, in which members of the cherry association pay a levee for, the total comes to $482,000.

Sweet cherries are the eighth largest fruit commodity in land usage at 2,097-hectares yet are the second most valuable fruit export with over 10,000 metric tonnes being shipped overseas, according to 2017 statistics published by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Following the United States, China and Japan are the next leading consumers of Canadian fruits, but David Geen, vice-president of the cherry association, not only are they looking to increase exports to existing markets but narrow their sight on other Asian countries.

“(South) Korea is a very important cherry market and that’s the next one we are working on,” Geen said. “So we hope that that’s going to be in a couple of years.”

READ MORE: North Okanagan cherry crops take bigger hit than south

Minister Lametti expressed the importance of the B.C. cherry industry in context with the Canadian economy. He said that 96 per cent of sweet cherries are harvested in B.C.

“You are vital to our government’s strong trade agenda,” he said. “And that’s why we want to keep your industry strong and growing.”

The government, according to Minister Lametti, set a target of $75 billion in agri-food export by 2025; which the cherry industry is paramount in.



David Venn
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at david.venn@kelownacapnews.com
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

A true community garden takes root in Tsa’xana

Tsa’xana First Nation residents typically have to grocery shop in Campbell River, 90 km away

Vancouver Island community organizes luncheon for seniors to beat COVID-19 blues

Sayward Community Recreation Association and Mowi teamed up to deliver lunch boxes to senior citizens in Sayward

Road rage incident in downtown Campbell River results in charges

Action movie scene caught on video, which helped identify driver

North Island Hospital Campbell River’s campus has a new food forest

And the hospital staff is encouraging the community to come ‘nibble’ on the produce

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

Most Read