BC Tree Fruits is taking the unprecedented step of guaranteeing apple prices for growers.
The move follows the release of a report and recommendations around the challenges facing BC’s tree fruit industry. The report was released last fall by the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. Now, industry leaders have joined together to tackle some of the biggest issues facing the tree fruit industry and its growers.
“The scope of work being done so far is truly impressive” says Warren Sarafinchan, president and CEO of BC Tree Fruits Cooperative. “The cooperative is proud of this work that we are doing alongside other industry stakeholders to improve circumstances for the entire industry, but most importantly for growers”.
The cooperative is expanding on a program launched in 2020 by providing minimum payment guarantees to growers on a wide range of varieties, grades, and sizes of apples for the next three years.
“After years of fluctuating market pricing, weather challenges and rapidly increasing inflation, growers need certainty that they will be paid a reasonable price for quality apples that the market is demanding," says Sarafinchan.
“Our Apple Income Assurance Program provides apple growers with a minimum guaranteed price return, which gives them confidence to invest in the crop inputs and labour required to grow the fruit that consumers are looking for. A program of this nature has never been offered in the tree fruit industry but is a very clear indication that the Cooperative is placing local growers first to cultivate a prosperous future for the industry”.
BC Tree Fruits Cooperative is the largest packer and marketer of tree fruits in the Okanagan Valley, made up of over 270 local grower families who produce a variety of tree fruit commodities including apples, cherries, pears, peaches, nectarines, apricots, prunes, plums, and table grapes.