British Columbia’s Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick has issued the following statement regarding 2015 export statistics for B.C. cherries:
“Today, I am pleased to report in 2015, B.C. cherry exports have increased dramatically from the previous year to 13,600 metric tonnes (56% increase) to a value of $91.7 million (70% increase).
“The data also includes a significant rise in sour cherry exports from $2.7 million in 2014 to $11.2 million in 2015.
“Focusing on high-value B.C. products like late-season cherries is key to growing the B.C. government’s agrifood sector to a $15-billion-a-year industry by 2020.
“In 2014, I was honoured to lead the B.C. delegation with B.C. cherry industry representatives on a federal trade mission to China that led to full, unimpeded access for fresh cherries into China. As a direct result of our efforts, the export value of fresh, sweet cherries to China has more than doubled from 2014 to 2015, rising from $9.9 million to $24 million.
“We are going to build on this momentum. Thanks to the close working relationship with our provincial cherry industry, we look forward to exploring new opportunities with Pacific Rim countries that recently signed the Trans Pacific Partnership.
“British Columbians have always known about this tasty, sweet fruit from the Okanagan. The secret is out. Together we want to share B.C. cherries with the world.”
Dave TownsendGovernment Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
250 889-5945 (mobile)