August 10, 2022 By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
On Aug. 10, Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food, and Mary Ng, minister of international trade, export promotion, small business and economic development, announced that the Government of Canada has gained market access to South Korea for British Columbia’s high-quality fresh cherries.
Canada has been working collaboratively with South Korea to gain access for fresh cherries since 2015. Increased exports into South Korea has been part of British Columbia’s long-term strategy to grow international markets for cherries, while securing the best price.
“By continually advocating for fair market access, our government is supporting our farmers, our workers and their communities,” Ng said. “Today’s announcement on new market access for B.C. cherries provides Canadian farmers with new ways to deliver their world-class products to a growing market. Canada and South Korea enjoy an important trading relationship, built on longstanding people-to-people ties and shared values, and this announcement reflects just that.”
British Columbia produces 95 per cent of Canada’s sweet cherries and has an opportunity to grow even more, thanks in part to the premium new cherry varieties bred at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s research centre in Summerland, B.C.
With the recent expansion in acreage and production volume along with global demand, sweet cherries have now become Canada’s second-largest exported fruit crop behind blueberries. As the region in North America with the latest-growing cherries, British Columbian exporters have a competitive advantage when the cherries are ready to go to market in August and September.
Bilateral trade with Korea continues to grow; the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, implemented in 2015, has significantly facilitated the growth of bilateral trade through its tariff reductions and the predictable and transparent business environment it creates for respective industries. South Korea remains a priority trading partner for Canadian agri-food products. This new access provides more opportunities for Canadian growers to diversify their exports in the Indo-Pacific region.
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