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Cherry outlook double-sided
Slumping economy
recommended that there be better
To improve the situation, he strongly leveraging funds from the 70 or so
likely to hamper
cross-border coordination of marketing
members of the cherry growers’
throughout the season.
association, who contribute a penny a
marketing of what could
pound to research. Matching funding is
a tiny niche in a very large market for
He pointed out that cherries are only often available from a variety of other
be an excellent crop.
fruit available for consumers, and it’s a
high risk one. still a lot of growers who are not
However, Dendy notes, “There are
By Judie Steeves
season does reduce
Extending the members. We
share the research
t’s a good news, bad news spring
that risk, however, anyway, so we
for cherry growers. Although the
something B.C.
growers have been
would hope that
people would join
because many orchards had a short one
forecast is for a large crop this year
very successful at. in. If we pool our
last year, leaving trees with more
resources we can
resources to put into the 2009 crop,
turnout of growers
There was a good
achieve a lot more
world market economics suggest
at this year’s agm,
marketing such an upscale commodity
who re-elected Greg Norton as individually. However, it always seems
than we can
could be difficult while consumers are
chairman, Glen Wood vice-chairman there are some who would prefer to
pinching pennies.
and Christine Dendy treasurer. reap the benefits without paying the
Okanagan Kootenay Cherry Growers’
At February’s annual meeting of the
research as how best to improve
Growers will continue to fund such
Association, members heard world
picking and packing conditions to
cherry production has been rising
prepare for longer-term storage for
no staff, and all administration work
The association is run very lean, with
steadily since 1980 and, although
cherries and to investigate control
done on a voluntary basis, without even
prices have held firm, by 2015 there’ll
methods for the European Paper Wasp.
per diems paid, she pointed out.
be a one-third expansion in product,
Such work is made possible by to the website at:
For details about the association, go
outpacing population growth.
Desmond O’Rourke, world fruit market
That was the picture painted by
analyst, guest speaker at the meeting.
going up, he noted there are also lots of
With Canada’s yields of cherries still
Skeena and Sweetheart plantings in
Washington State that are not yet
bearing, and lots of growth overall in
the later varieties of cherries, he said.
a record large crop here, as well as a
This year, he predicted there could be
larger crop on world markets.
Quality design and installa
Serving the Okanagan since 1977
say consumers are bypassing upscale
With a worldwide slump, retailers
your specific needs
tailored to suit
products because they’re more sensitive
to price.
Consultation service available. Over 20 winery consultations,
designs and installations.
suffering too,” O’Rourke said.
“Restaurant and wine businesses are
• Portable glycol heaters and chillers
in early markets, he added.
It’s critical that B.C. growers succeed
• Glycol heating and chilling systems
• Automated wine tank controls
Value packs will be popular, he
• Walk-in coolers and freezers
production lines, from harvesting to
Growers should run lean, mean
• Blast coolers and freezers
packing and marketing.
• Hydro coolers
believes the future is favourable for
However, in the long term, O’Rourke
• Process chilling
cherries—more so than apples and
For more assistance:
Kelowna office — 1043 Richter St.
will again pay a premium for specialty
“When affluence returns, consumers
Phone: (250) 868-3850 Fax: (250) 868-9350
fruits,” he advised.
British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2009
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