B.C. welcomed new directors Glenda Gesy (Kamloops/pre-farm gate) and Dave Zehnder (East Kootenay/beef cattle) were welcomed onto the IAF board, while a fond farewell was bid to departing directors Ed Salle and vice chair Bar Hayre. The IAF is an industry-led, not-for-profit organization representing the agriculture, food processing, farm supply and post- farmgate sectors. It works with federal and provincial funders to invest in projects that enhance the competitiveness, profitability and sustainability of the province’s agriculture and agri-food industry. Continuing directors are chair Ken Bates (Lower Mainland/Field Vegetables, Berries and Mushrooms), Len Bouwman(Fraser Valley/Dairy), vice chair Jack DeWit (Fraser Valley/Other Livestock), Walter Fritsche (Peace/Grains and Oilseeds), Arzeena Hamir (Vancouver Island/Emerging Sectors), Alistair Johnston (Fraser Valley/Post-Farmgate), Dale Krahn (Fraser Valley/Poultry), Dennis Lapierre (Okanagan-


Shuswap/Community Agriculture), secretary Don Low(Kootenays/Tree Fruits & Grapes), treasurer Bert Miles (North Okanagan/Greenhouse, Floriculture and Nursery) and Kalpna Solanki (Lower Mainland/Post- farmgate). Bates praised the collaboration between industry and government, citing results shared by project partners such as increased market opportunities and sales, enhanced production management and more. On the financial side, the report by treasurer Miles revealed IAF approved nearly 300 projects in 2016, with contributions totaling more than $8.3 million toward new and continuing projects and initiatives... B.C. agrifood and seafood producers exported more products than ever before during 2016, setting a record for the fourth year in a row. According to the provincial agriculture ministry, 2016 exports reached $3.8 billion, an increase of over $300 million from 2015, led by a $195.5 million increase in the export of seafood products, and an $104.6 million increase in agrifood products. The province exported 712 types of foods to 160 markets. The top five agrifood

t its annual general meeting in April, the Investment Agriculture Foundation of

products were food preparations for manufacturing and natural-health products ($307 million), baked goods and cereal products ($293 million), blueberries ($200 million), mushrooms ($156 million) and chocolate and cocoa preparations ($119 million). The top five export markets in 2016 were the United States ($2.7 billion), China ($407 million), Japan ($207 million), South Korea ($64 million) and Hong Kong ($55 million)...

Quebec’s 2016 cranberry harvest reached almost 275.9 million pounds, a 32 per cent increase compared to the 208 million pounds recorded in 2015. Quebec is now the second largest cranberry production region worldwide, behind Wisconsin. Of the 275.9 million pounds, almost 246.6 million was harvested from the entre-du-Quebec region, where almost 80 per cent of Quebec’s cranberry producers are based. In 2016. the province recorded 9,500 acres of cranberry production. By comparison,m the B.C. industry produces 75-95 million pounds annually, roughly 12 per cent of North American output. Quebec is the world leader in organic cranberry production. The sector saw a strong 87 per cent increase in 2016 with harvest reaching 40.4 million pounds compared to the 21.6 million pounds recorded the previous year.Organic acreage will see a large increase over the next few years, the Quebec Cranberry Growers Association says it will represent almost a third of acreage put into production in 2018...

Still in Quebec, a smartphone app has been developed that allows strawberry production to be predicted three weeks in advance, aimed at better coordination with the distribution network. The app prepares forecasts from numerous

green strawberries from 60 randomly selected plants. David Lemire, president of the Quebec Association of Strawberry and Raspberry Producers explains: “By knowing their production volume three weeks in advance, our members increase their chances of getting a fair price for their fruit and it is easier for greengrocers to plan their supplies and special offers in accordance with volume produced locally.” The developers based their work on production observations made over five different years. According to the association, which counts 550 producers, Quebec is Canada’s leader in strawberry production and the third largest in North America... With global blueberry production up 40 percent 2012-2016 and projected to reach 1.45 billion lbs. in 2017, the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) says it is focused on “driving demand upward on the same trajectory.” It says American per capita blueberry consumption grew 599 per cent from 1994-2014 – more than any other fruit or vegetable studied – and the USHBC’s newest research indicates further room for growth. In late 2016, the USHBC began a study to examine which consumer and business segments are best suited to absorb the building volume of berries coming to market. The study found that heavy and moderate blueberry users, who represent half the U.S. population (25 per cent each), show the most growth potential of all user segments. Heavy users consume 19-plus cups per year, are mainly ages 25-45, have children in the home and span all ethnicities. Moderate users consume 6-18 cups per year, and span all ages and ethnicities.

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26 British Columbia Berry Grower • Summer 2017

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