Government of Canada Invests in British Columbia’s Fruit Industry to Help Grow The Economy

OTTAWA, ON  Canada’s fruit industry is an important contributor to the Canadian economy and plays a key role in keeping our food supply steady and strong. Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of over $700,000 for four projects in British Columbia’s fruit sector that will increase exports and help to grow the economy.

With funds under the federal AgriMarketing and AgriScience Programs, these projects will help growers become more competitive and increase their sales in important export markets, while supporting the continued growth and success of the Canadian fruit industry. The projects include:

  • The British Columbia Blueberry Council – up to $335,169 to expand global demand for highbush blueberries with the aim of diversifying markets outside the United States.
  • The BC Cherry Association – up to $236,847 to identify new opportunities to gain access to new export markets and increase export values through promotion of Canadian cherries.
  • The British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association – up to $67,516 to evaluate fruitlet and leaf nutrient composition as a tool for assessing sweet cherry nutrient status and associated post-storage fruit quality. This research will help growers increase productivity by producing high-quality cherries that are optimized for storage quality, for both export and domestic markets.
  • The British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association – up to $61,985 to develop and implement tools for the detection and diagnosis of the Little Cherry Virus and the Western X Phytoplasma. The knowledge generated through this research will help the sector better understand emergent diseases and support improved management strategies.

Even in the face of labour, market and extreme weather challenges, the fruit industry continues to be a strong and vibrant driver of the Canadian economy. Growers also rely on exporting to remain resilient and well-positioned for the future. Canada’s fruit exports have grown by 30% over the last five years to reach an all-time high of over $904 million in 2021. These investments will help the industry build on this momentum to seize new market opportunities for their high-quality products.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the fruit industry with the tools they need to remain resilient, competitive and create sustainability in Canada’s agriculture sector.