A new report on Orderly Marketing of Apples is available to help growers understand ways to address the financial challenges in the British Columbia (BC) apple sector. Pome fruit acreage (apples and pears) in BC has declined from a peak of 8,500 in 2011 to 7,200 acres in 2021, as apple sales are not meeting growers’ increased cost of production. The new report makes a proposal for an Apple Marketing Commission as the best possible solution to correcting the recent apple sector downtrend.
Over time, growers and other apple industry partners have considered several ideas to help return financial stability to one of BC’s oldest and most iconic industries. On behalf of the Orderly Marketing Project Management Committee (a volunteer committee of growers and industry representatives who are exploring the idea of orderly marketing), the BC Fruit Growers’ Association received funding to engage a consultant to review and determine what type of coordinated effort would be best, and what activities should be undertaken.
“We are asking growers to get involved: check out the information on the website at appleorderlymarketingforum.wordpress.com, discuss this idea of orderly marketing amongst the grower community, look at the proposal in the Globalwise report, and provide us with direction by participating in a grower survey is that part of the website,” said Glen Lucas, BC Fruit Growers’ Association.
Over the next few months, growers and packers will be consulted through meetings, surveys, and direct feedback through the website. In addition to the recommended apple marketing commission, the consultations will also consider at least one other approach to orderly marketing for comparative purposes. As the consultation process continues, more information will be added to the website based on feedback from growers.
The experts examined other forms of coordinated marketing and other work and compared a voluntary packer association with a BC Apple Marketing Commission. The report outlines the proposed BC Apple Marketing Commission as a practical and balanced approach. The next steps will be to communicate with growers and packers in the industry to receive input and direction on the proposed approach and alternatives to resolving the BC apple sector decline and restoring BC apple production to a prominent place in the food security of the province.
A website is in place to update, inform, and engage BC’s commercial apple growers about the potential of Orderly Marketing for BC apples. The website and Globalwise report have been reviewed by the Orderly Marketing Project Management Committee.
Source: BC Fruit Growers’ Association November 17, 2023 news release