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Industry NewsFeds invest in B.C.’s fruit industry in effort to stimulate economy

Feds invest in B.C.’s fruit industry in effort to stimulate economy

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The minister of agriculture and agri-food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, has announced an investment of over $700,000 for four projects in British Columbia’s fruit sector aimed at increasing exports and growing the economy.

The funds come under the federal AgriMarketing and AgriScience Programs. The projects include:

  • The British Columbia Blueberry Council – up to $335,169 to expand global demand for highbush blueberries to diversify markets outside the United States.
  • The BC 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.
  • 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.

According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, even in the face of labour, market and extreme weather challenges, the fruit industry continues to be a strong and vibrant driver of the Canadian economy. Growers also rely on exporting to remain resilient and well-positioned for the future. Canada’s fruit exports have grown by 30 per cent over the last five years to reach an all-time high of over $904 million in 2021.

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