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“These are potential buyers of our product,” she noted, adding, “The more you know about your competition the better you can compete. What is it about another country that allows them to out-sell you? And why are there so many raspberries available? Is consumption down or production up? Globally, how can we change that to our advantage? We need to increase demand to increase price. If we work together to increase world demand we will all succeed,” she commented. In order for demand to increase, it’s important to learn more about the health benefits of eating raspberries and scientific research is needed to back up such claims.

“We have a small budget for promotion and marketing, but if other countries are conducting this research and promoting it, that benefits us all,” she noted.

Tuesday, there will be a field trip to Whatcom County, with stops at the test blocks and fields of Randy Honcoop’s farm.

Mechanization particularly interests industry people, so there will be trips to facilities where harvesters are assembled, such as the Oxbo International operation, Korvan Division in Lynden, Washington.

Lunch will be at Samson Estates,

followed by a side trip to the research station in Mt. Vernon, then an equipment display and salmon barbecue at the farm of Adam Enfield, who represents the U.S. on the IRO board. Wednesday will feature field trips in

the Fraser Valley, including to farms south of the airport such as the Mutz family operation, Berry Haven Farms, the Clearbrook Station of Agriculture Canada, then lunch at the Pacific Coast Fruit Products plant, followed by a plant tour.

Canada’s food safety initiatives will be showcased, as growers are working on Canada GAP certification. That evening, the conference will wrap up with dinner and

entertainment on a harbour cruise on the MV Harbour Princess in Vancouver.

B.C. raspberry growers, packers and processors are encouraged to sign up for the conference, since it’s a rare opportunity to attend an international conference within just a few miles of home, instead of having to travel half- way around the world. Register on the website at: or by contacting the RIDC.

About the logo A unique logo is usually designed for

each conference of the International Raspberry Organization, so event organizer Sharmin Gamiet was on the lookout for something unique to this region when she came across a native design that really impressed her. The name of the Coast Salish artist was Chris Paul and the design was called Berry Pickers.

Paul explained that he had grown up picking berries with his family for a neighbouring farmer and they all enjoyed it as a family event each year. He recalled the family togetherness and the discussions with his family members during picking season. The piece means ‘realization of dreams’ he told Gamiet.

She was delighted with the serigraph and its appropriateness for the conference.

It was purchased from him and then Gamiet’s sister, Fiona Gamiet, a graphic artist, made some minor changes so it would reproduce in print more clearly and added the conference name for the Raspberry Industry Development Council to use as a logo for June’s international conference.

—Judie Steeves

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