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Chronicle: 1981

fundCourtesy B.C. Tree Fruits Ltd.

We fruitgrowers have been stung with highly advertised and promoted fruit varieties in the past, only to find these varieties were not suited for the area. Hopefully, this project will prevent this from happening in the future. (Richard Bullock at the official opening of the B.C.F.G. A.'s new test orchard.)

  • Growers at the Annual Convention of the B.C.F.G.A. passed a resolution strongly affirming their support for the B.C. Land Commission and the integrity of the Agricultural Land Reserves. The B.C.F.G.A. disapproved of the Environmental Land Use Committee of the provincial cabinet overruling the Commission.
  • B.C.F.G.A. growers refused to allow the B.C. Tree Fruit Marketing Board to licence independents.
  • The Canadian Federation of Agriculture chose B.C.F.G.A. president, Richard Bullock, to speak to the United Nations' Industrial Development Organization meeting in April. This honour was awarded to Bullock because of the B.C.F.G.A.'s leadership role as a cooperative. Bullock said that cooperatives can promote integrated development in the food production, processing and marketing chain to the benefit of farmers and rural development.
  • Arnold Pedersen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of B.C. Tree Fruits/Sun-Rype Products Ltd., became president of the prestigious Canadian Horticultural Council.
  • On August 20, the B.C.F.G.A. officially opened its test orchard in Oliver. The orchard was meant to determine what specific types of fruit varieties and root stocks should be grown in the Okanagan Valley.
  • Many of the apples from the 1981 crop were on the small side.
  • Large apple crops around the world and especially in Washington State created a very competitive marketing climate for B.C. fruit.
  • Due to several years of recession, market returns for tree fruit growers were below the cost of production. The gap was only partially filled by the provincial Farm Income Insurance and federal stabilization grants.
  • Richard Bullock, B.C.F.G.A. President, stated that money was being made from the crop by some people, but it was not the producer who was making it.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Food questioned the B.C.F.G.A. about the economic viability of the tree fruit industry.
  • The B.C.F.G.A. was alarmed at the low fund ing and the low staff morale in the federal Department and the provincial Ministry of Agriculture.
  • The B.C.F.G.A. also expressed concern about the low level of morale among farmers across Canada.

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