Fruit projects receive cash infusion

Lake Country’s Coral Beach Farms has received $35,000 in government funds to automate the sorting of cherries.  - Coral Beach Farms photo
Lake Country’s Coral Beach Farms has received $35,000 in government funds to automate the sorting of cherries.
— image credit: Coral Beach Farms photo

Projects introducing new technology to the Okanagan’s tree fruit industry are receiving funds.

Coral Beach Farms in Lake Country will get  $35,000 from the provincial and federal governments for a software program that will automate the sorting of stemless cherries.

“This new technology enables us to target specific packs of cherries to  specific markets in a very cost effective manner,” said David Geen, Coral Beach Farms president.

The automatic sorting of cherries with and without stems will help the sector take advantage  of higher-value export markets that pay a premium for stemmed cherries,  leading to increased profitability for farmers.

The Okanagan Kootenay Cherry Growers’ Association is receiving $21,000 for two spotted wing drosophila larvae  management projects.

There is also $19,200 for the B.C. Fruit Growers Association research and development test orchard  to create quality standards that all cherry-packing organizations can use for their domestic and export markets.

“These projects and leading-edge technologies will increase profitability and ensure that the region’s producers remain industry leaders on the  domestic and international stage,” said Ron Cannan, Kelowna-Lake Country MP.

“The B.C. government has been working with industry to focus on  innovation and technology as we look at ways to expand their product line and markets,” added Norm Letnick, B.C. agriculture minister.


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