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insect technology training, government
grants, property and parcel taxes and
official, international designation.” Look at how successful the (wine
insect sales, he said. growers from this area to market
Such a designation would allow industry’s) VQA program is, and it’s
vertically-integrated.”
policy and services would include an
A board of directors would set their products as “greener” and more
area-wide pest control program;
pesticide-free than fruit from other organization and can’t achieve what
She said the BCFGA is a lobbying
monitoring, extension and
jurisdictions, a title that would be of such groups as the industry’s
enforcement.
interest to many of today’s ‘green’
consumers.
marketing organizations can—they
have a much larger budget.
districts, the BCFGA, the Okanagan
It must involve all regional
Tree Fruit Cooperative, organic
have the best apples in the world,
Lucas commented, “We already
of the industry onside immediately,”
“I encourage you to get other parts
growers, federal and provincial
including some varieties that are Gambell added.
agriculture ministries, and hopefully
unique to the Okanagan.”
the Okanagan Kootenay Cherry
growers to tell their packinghouse
Lucas responded by advising
Growers and grape growers as well,
way to achieving the designation
Growers are already well on the
representatives that this is important
he said.
because of the success of the SIR
program, which has reduced
to them, so that it will taken on as an
Lucas reported that the association is
BCFGA general manager Glen significantly the amount of pesticides
industry initiative.
pursuing the designation Area of Low
applied in the valley. member of the SIR board of directors
Grower Fred Steele, who is a
Pest Prevalence (ALPP), an
international phytosanitary measure.
hasn’t been used to market fruit as
However, up to now, that reduction and was vice-president of the BCFGA
being “grown with fewer pesticides,”
last year, noted the industry can
become the first such designated
If successful, the Okanagan would and it’s not organic, so it can’t be
expect a new invasive species of pest
agricultural region in Canada.
marketed as organic.
to arrive on our shores every four
years. It’s one of the most difficult
a cost-benefit analysis of pursuing
BCFGA consultants are working on down from the organic label.
The ALPP designation is just a step issues growers have to deal with, he
said.
the designation, and it’s expected to
be complete within the coming
during the convention, Lake Country
Commenting on the presentation
months, he reported to growers.
grower Penny Gambell, a former
it’s important the public be educated
Dominic Rampone pointed out that
BCFGA president, commented,
about what the SIR program is and
quarantine but not as strong. An
Lucas described it as being “like a “Packinghouses need to be involved
what it does for the environment.
in this, not like the SIR program.
“Let’s use it as a marketing tool to
the general public,” he said.
14
British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2009
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