Despite a lacklustre 2019 growing season, BC growers are looking forward to next season with funding for new export markets. The federal government, represented by Justice Minister David Lametti, announced $241,000 in funding on August 13 to market B.C. cherries to new countries. Those monies will be matched by industry for a total of $480,000.
"A significant portion of the Canadian cherry business involves export,” says Sukhpaul Bal, president, BC Cherry Association. “The BC Cherry Association has benefited from federal AgriMarketing funding for our activities for the past seven years. This partnership with the federal government has been critical in paving the way for the BC Cherry Association to help expand world markets for cherries by promoting our industry abroad, and to coordinate export programs for existing world markets."
In 2014, the local cherry market was opened to China, and just recently, local farms began exporting to Japan. The next target is South Korea.
“The agri-marketing funding really allows us to explore the new markets and get to the new markets to promote the B.C. cherry industry,” Bal said, adding representatives have been attending trade shows in Berlin and Hong Kong for the past several years, thanks in part to the program.
As part of this project, the BCCA will also implement a pest management protocol for the Japan, China, United States and South Korea markets, and design and produce export labels to meet market-specific requirements.
See the video of Suhkpaul Bal, president BC Cherry Association, here: https://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/263460/BC-cherries-on-world-stage
Source: Castanet.net August 14, 2019 posting/AAFC news release