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“We have top horticulture people

to help growers become more profitable and to make money. We want all our growers to be profitable.” Tyabji said the Oliver cherry packing line will be upgraded and become the OTFC’s main cherry packing facility, while the Kelowna line will be used to focus on a more aggressive export-quality cherry program. New equipment will be installed in

Oliver and capacity will be ramped up until it will exceed the line in Kelowna in both modern equipment and capacity. Tyabji is also reviewing future

plans for the co-op, including plans to sell off properties that are not being used or that require updating. There won’t be any change in plans

to sell the waterfront Naramata packing plant and storage facility, but other than that, the entire OTFC capital plan is being re-examined, he said.

“We’re looking at maximizing

assets and selling off what isn’t needed. That will provide the funds to upgrade the remaining facilities,” he said. Those not sold and not being used

are being rented out. “We’re a strong organization and

this will put us in a good financial position.” Plans to install a state-of-the-art

brine chiller and cooler system for the CA storage in Winfield will still go ahead, using the $2.7 million federal/provincial AgriFlex funding announced last January, at a total project cost of $5.25 million. Following Octobers AGM, long-

time Cawston grower Rob Dawson was re-elected as chairman of the board of the OTFC, but Sam DiMaria of Kelowna was defeated by Kamlesh Parmar of Kelowna. and Jack Machial of Oliver was outvoted by Gordon Hahn of Oliver. The 10-member board is made up

of five grower-members from the south and five elected from the northern half of the valley, for three- year terms. Two vice-presidents are also elected each year from either end of the valley. Colin Pritchard was elected to represent the north, with Nirmal Dhaliwal elected by the board from the south.

British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Winter 2012-13 13

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