February 10, 2016 - 10:30 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - The province exported more than $90 million worth of cherries last year, 70 per cent more than in 2014.
B.C.’s Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick calls the 56 per cent increase in tonnage a record year.
"Today, I am pleased to report in 2015, B.C. cherry exports have increased dramatically from the previous year to 13,600 metric tonnes to a value of $91.7 million,” he says in a media release.
There was also a significant rise in sour cherry exports to $11.2 million in 2015, from $2.7 million in 2014, partially due to a 2014 federal trade mission to China that led to fewer trade restrictions to the most populous country in the world.
“As a direct result of our efforts, the export value of fresh, sweet cherries to China has more than doubled from 2014 to 2015, rising from $9.9 million to $24 million,” Letnick says. "Focusing on high-value B.C. products like late-season cherries is key to growing the B.C. government’s agrifood sector to a $15-billion-a-year industry by 2020.”
Letnick says the Ministry plans to build on the momentum by exploring new opportunities with other Pacific Rim countries that are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
"British Columbians have always known about this tasty, sweet fruit from the Okanagan. The secret is out,” Letnick says. “Together we want to share B.C. cherries with the world."
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016