Canadian cherry growers are looking forward to a good year for their crops - if the weather allows it. Farmers are expecting an increase in foreign markets opening up, members of the BC Cherry Association heard at their annual general meeting in Kelowna.
“Overall, I’m liking the position our industry is in right now,” association president Sukhpaul Bal said. “We’ve got a high-quality product and growing recognition worldwide.”
The 140 people attending the AGM heard that agricultural inspectors from Japan are expected to visit the Okanagan this year, reviewing farming practices and processing plants, in preparation for allowing Okanagan fruit to be shipped to that country. Some test shipments may be allowed this year.
Similar groundwork was done by Chinese inspectors a few years ago, before that market was opened to Okanagan cherries. In 2015, almost $25 million worth of sweet cherries were shipped to China, up from less than $10 million in 2014. Growers are also looking towards South Korea as a potential market.