Representatives of the B.C. tree fruit, potato, and vegetable sectors met in October to discuss the negative impact that the Columbia River Treaty has on B.C. vegetable, potato and tree fruit sectors.
The following requests were put forward to B.C. Agricultural Minister Hon. Don McRae as a result of the meeting:
– The appointment of a senior B.C. Ministry of Agriculture staff member to the established BC Ministry of Mines Task Force to represent industry in the CRT process;
– The establishment of a consultation process involving representatives from the affected sectors and BC Ministry of Agriculture staff members.
– The availability of funds to permit research to be undertaken to better respond to the challenges facing the tree fruit, potato and vegetable sectors.
Representatives of the BC Fruit Growers Association, BC Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, and the BC Vegetable Marketing Commission appreciated the opportunity to meet with the Minister to discuss this issue and hope to continue working with him and the provincial government towards finding solutions.
The BC Fruit Growers’ Association represents 758 commercial orchards in B.C. with a mandate “to foster a business environment for the long term prosperity of B.C. tree fruit growers. The B.C. tree fruit industry generates more than 130 million in fresh fruit sales annually at the wholesale level, with a further 120 million in sales from Sun-Rype, the main processor of fruit in the Okanagan.