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

Just Posted

Vanderhoof speed skater wins RBC Future Olympian funding

Alison Desmarais’ Olympic dream is back on track

Snowfall warning continues for parts of B.C.’s Interior

First significant snowfall of the season prompts Environment Canada warning

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

Banned from taking work involving young people for five years

Prince Rupert man who killed foster parents in 2017 receives three-year sentence

A Prince Rupert man convicted in the deaths of his foster parents… Continue reading

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read