B.C.’s fruit industry gets AAFC boost to expand exports and economy
June 9, 2022 By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
On June 2, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau announced an investment of over $700,000 for four projects in British Columbia’s fruit sector that will increase exports and help to grow the economy.
“Canada’s fruit growers continue to adapt and innovate to support a strong food supply,” Bibeau said. “This investment will help growers expand their export markets as well as support cutting-edge research that will help them remain resilient and ensure their high-quality products meet consumer demands here and around the world.”
“The fruit industry is vital to British Columbia’s agricultural sector and economy,” added Taleeb Noormohamed, MP for Vancouver Granville. “The Government of Canada is partnering with industry to help expand into new international markets and undertake important research to help growers become even more sustainable and competitive.”
With funds under the federal AgriMarketing and AgriScience programs, these projects will help growers become more competitive and increase their sales in important export markets, while supporting the continued growth and success of the Canadian fruit industry. The projects include:
- The British Columbia Blueberry Council – up to $335,169 to expand global demand for highbush blueberries, with the aim of diversifying markets outside the United States;
- The B.C. Cherry Association – up to $236,847 to identify new opportunities to gain access to new export markets and increase export values through promotion of Canadian cherries;
- The British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association – up to $67,516 to evaluate fruitlet and leaf nutrient composition as a tool for assessing sweet cherry nutrient status and associated post-storage fruit quality. This research will help growers increase productivity by producing high-quality cherries that are optimized for storage quality, for both export and domestic markets; and
- The British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association – up to $61,985 to develop and implement tools for the detection and diagnosis of the Little Cherry Virus and the Western X Phytoplasma. The knowledge generated through this research will help the sector better understand emergent diseases and support improved management strategies.
Canada’s fruit exports have grown by 30 per cent over the last five years to reach an all-time high of more than $904 million in 2021. These investments will help the industry build on this momentum to seize new market opportunities for their high-quality products.
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