A new website has been launched to inform and engage British Columbia’s commercial apple growers about the potential of “Orderly Marketing” for the province’s apples. In recent years many apple growers report they have faced significant financial stress as evidenced by continued poor grower returns, shrinking acreage, and reduced market share even in British Columbia.
Growers and other apple industry partners have begun to consider several ideas to help return financial stability to one of BC’s oldest and most iconic industries. One possible solution is orderly marketing.
A new website, https://appleorderlymarketingforum.wordpress.com/ has been developed by the Orderly Marketing Project Management Committee, a volunteer committee of growers and industry representatives, to explore the idea of orderly marketing for BC apples.
“Orderly marketing is simply a way to describe how BC apple growers may achieve better results – for example, in marketing and promotion - by working together rather than apart,” said Glen Lucas, general manager of BC Fruit Growers’ Association. “Several other commodities have benefitted from some form of orderly marketing,each designed to serve the unique needs of that sector.”
“The purpose of this new website is simply to begin sharing information about what orderly marketing is. And what it isn’t. Growers will begin to receive more information over the next few months, and we encourage them to become informed and participate in the discussion.”
In 2021, the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, issued The Path Forward: A Blueprint for B.C.’s Tree Fruit Industry which contained a set of recommendations designed to assist the industry. Since then, the Tree Fruit Industry Stabilization Advisory Group began looking at a range of issues, including marketing.
With assistance from the BC Investment Agriculture Foundation, some of the world’s leading agricultural economists have been retained to examine the marketing of BC apples and the potential of a more united approach in areas such as industry-wide promotion and quality standards. The results of this work will be made available to growers as it is completed.
“We are asking growers to get involved: check out the website, meet with other growers to discuss this idea and ask lots of questions,” said Lucas.
Over the next few months, more information will be added to the website based on feedback from growers. An Orderly Marketing study began in June 2023 and a final report is expected in August 2023.
Source: BC Orderly Marketing Project Management Committee, August 10, 2023 news release