BC Cherry Growers Ripen to Harper’s Trade Deal with China

    Good news for cherry growers!!

    February 9, 2012, Kelowna, BC

    Responding to news of Harper signing a Co-operative Arrangement in China today that opens the doors for BC cherries, David Stirling, president of BC’s Okanagan Kootenay Cherry Growers’ Association, said “this is terrific news for the tree fruit industry. BC cherries are exported all over the world, particularly Taiwan and other Asian destinations. Gaining access to the Chinese market will let us compete on the same terms as our American cousins. We know the Chinese market has great potential and demand for the premium quality BC can deliver. Production in BC has been growing over 10% per year in recent years, now at least $40 million in sales, and we see more young plantings yet to come in to production”. Stirling attributes BC’s success in developing export markets to the new varieties and research advances from the PARC research station nearby in Summerland, progressive and innovative growers willing to manage the big risks and high costs of cherry growing, and brokers that have built the reputation and put BC on the world map. BC cherry growers employ over 3,000 people every summer, and new markets like China will help keep the whole industry growing.

    David Stirling and his wife Linda produce about 30,000 boxes of cherries annually on their 35 acre family orchard in Kelowna.

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