Karim Tipping

Cherry grower says Creston Valley’s 2013 harvest a success

Web Lead

  • Aug. 21, 2013 11:00 a.m.

Orchardist Jenny Faynor took time out from the post-harvest cleanup on Monday to pronounce the recently completed late season cherry crop a good one.

“Smaller than last year, but really good quality and very few culls,” she said. “And it looks like the prices weren’t too bad.”

Faynor and her husband, Rick, operate their own sorting and packing plant on Erickson Road. This year they were among more than 30 B.C. cherry growers selected to participate in a pilot program that saw the fruit exported to China for the first time.

“It was a very arduous process, but I guess the Chinese want to protect their country from pests and diseases when they import food,” she said. “I hope that in the future they’ll trust the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to do its job, though.”

Faynors shipped only one small container to the Chinese market this year, something Jenny is content to describe as “a start”. Most of their crop went to other Asian markets — Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam — but Creston cherries also made their way into Europe and even Dubai.

The Creston Valley crop was smaller than it often is due to an early spring cold snap that hampered the fruit set. But favourable weather in the late spring and summer allowed the fruit to develop “beautifully”, she said.

“The cherries were firm and full of flavour,” Faynor said.

Last year saw a number of cherry trees pulled out, with some growers giving up on the struggle to produce and harvest a crop that has fought a recent losing battle against larger competitors in Washington state and even Turkey. Low prices in the last few years left some growers reporting a net loss. Other growers increased their tree plantings, though, keeping about the same number of acres in cherries in Erickson and Canyon as in past years.

Under the export pilot program, Chinese inspectors had to personally approve every shipment from B.C. With a population of more than a billion, the Chinese market is well worth pursuing, Faynor admitted. But the paperwork and inspections created added demands for growers who are already accredited under GlobalGAP, an international program.

Faynor said it’s too early to determine the financial success of the 2013 crop, as payment from international markets lags behind delivery.

“We’re farmers,” she smiled. “We don’t know how much we will be left with until we pay everyone else.”

Just Posted

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

CEC closure seems final

SD. 8 administrators and trustees offered no hope that the Creston Education Centre could remain open after June.

Radium man seeks Conservative Party federal nomination

Radium lawyer and businessman Dale Shudra has become the fourth candidate to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

Contest woos creative workers to Kaslo

Fun stunt highlights serious concern for rural B.C. towns

BCHL Today: Merritt peaking at right time and Taylor signs with UNH Wildcats

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Video: B.C. firefighters featured in quirky video

Oliver Fire Department posts video about their B.C. volunteer firefighter spring training seminar

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals push Canada into third place

A gold in ski cross and a bronze in bobsleigh as men’s hockey advances to the semis

Trudeau reiterates denial of Sikh separatists in cabinet, condemns extremism

“We will always stand against violent extremism, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada.”

Canada wins gold in men’s ski cross

Leman earns redemption with ski cross gold; Homan out early

Trump says more must be done to protect children

In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump indicated he wants to strengthen the background check system, but offered no specifics.

Most Read