Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

July 13, 2007 17:58 ET

Federal and Provincial Governments Invest $8 Million in Revitalization of B.C.'S Fruit Industries

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 13, 2007) - The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia (B.C.) are investing $8 million in B.C.'s tree fruit and grape industries to help them adapt to changing markets. The federal-provincial funding will assist the sector in addressing mounting pressures from declining prices and demand, and increasing import supply.

"Canada's New Government recognizes the growing market pressures the tree fruit and grape industries are under," said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board. "We are pleased to be working with the Province of British Columbia in supporting the long-term success of B.C.'s orchards and vineyards."

"B.C. tree fruit growers have established themselves as leaders in the industry, building on a strong foundation and an outstanding reputation for their products worldwide," said Pat Bell, B.C.'s Minister of Agriculture and Lands. "Today's funding announcement combined with the B.C. Fruit Growers Association's long-term strategy position the industry for a profitable, sustainable future."

Today's announcement of $8 million ($5 million federal, $3 million provincial) will provide for the removal and renewal of plant stock and the development of strategic regional plans. Program details will be available in the fall. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue to work with the Province of B.C. and industry to explore other initiatives to support the sector in adapting to changing markets. For example, funding could be provided for research into new varieties of fruit.

"It is rewarding to see the thoughtful process and collaboration of our members, partners and government staff resulting in this funding support for the future viability of our province's tree fruit and grape industries," said President of the B.C. Fruit Growers Association, Joe Sardinha. "The many sectors involved in our industry will now be able to choose a proactive approach to being competitive in a constantly changing global climate and marketplace."

Canada's New Government introduced an excise tax exemption for Canadian wines made from 100% Canadian grapes as of July 1, 2006 and tree fruit and grape industries in B.C. have also received financial assistance from the Canadian Agriculture and Food International (CAFI) program for the Canadian Vintners Association to develop international markets.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Minister Strahl's office
    Ted Yeomans
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059
    or
    B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
    Liz Bicknell
    Communications Director
    250-356-2862