Economics force closure of a South Okanagan fruit packinghouse | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Economics force closure of a South Okanagan fruit packinghouse

Image Credit: Contributed
August 23, 2017 - 6:30 PM

OSOYOOS - Business efficiencies are the main reason behind the upcoming closure of the B.C. Tree Fruits packinghouse in Osoyoos later this year.

B.C. Tree Fruits director of sales and marketing Lance McGinn says the company plans to increase production at it's facilities in Oliver and Winfield, and need to streamline operations in order to maximize grower returns.

McGinn says the Osoyoos plant is old and considered surplus because of the high costs of maintenance. B.C Tree Fruits has better facilities that allow for more streamlined operational efficiencies.

The Osoyoos packinghouse in 1945.
The Osoyoos packinghouse in 1945.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Okanagan Archive Trust Society

Employees will be relocated to the company’s Oliver facility, which will undergo upgrades in 2018, he says.

The packinghouse closure will also result in the closing of a retail outlet, which McGinn says may reopen at the Oliver location at some point in the future.

Packing capacity is expected to increase through more efficient use of the other facilities. The company’s Winfield facility is expanding, with a completion date of October.

McGinn says the Osoyoos packinghouse will close at the end of the apple harvest this year.

“Change is never easy, especially when a facility like the one in Osoyoos which has been such a large part of the industry for so many years,” McGinn says. “We have to look ahead at what is best for our growers."

"We continue to ask ourselves how can we best utilize what we have to get our growers the most money possible."

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