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February 3, 2017
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BC's interior tree fruit industry represents 800 growers operating orchards that generate $130 million in wholesale revenue, contribute $900 million in economic activity, and directly employs 1,500 person years at the grower, packer, and processor level.
Packing, processing, selling and transporting of tree fruits is the mainstay of several industries including local bin and tree post manufacturing, the fruit processing sector, export sales, and trucking.
The competitive advantage of the tree fruit industry is our intensive management and our low-pest population which is due to the Okanangan’s isolation and dry northern climate. New varieties of apples and cherries, developed at the federal Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC) in Summerland, are creating local opportunities and gaining widespread acceptance throughout the world. It is estimated that 80% of new cherry plantings in the world are of Summerland varieties.
BC fruit growers are at the forefront in new tree fruit technology, converting to high density new varieties as quickly as finances allow.
BC fruit growers are leaders in new environmentally friendly crop protection methods. We utilize highly-efficient irrigation systems to conserve and manage water, Integrated Pest Management, and other innovations such as area-wide programs for codling moth and starling control. We are pioneering the Sterile Insect Release (SIR) technology for one of the world's worst apple and pear pests - the codling moth.
Okanagan orchards and vineyards are also a major tourism draw by providing a park-like setting for tourists and residents to enjoy.
One of the most efficient, high-tech fruit processing operations in North America, Sun-Rype Products Limited, is located in Kelowna. Sun-Rype is the largest single North American user of TetraBrik packaging which is more environmentally friendly than most other packaging methods.
Hours: 9am - 4pm weekdays.