The latest statistics are fuelling optimism within the tree fruit sector.
The 2016 agriculture census shows a six per cent increase in tree fruit acreage in the past five years and a 51 per cent increase in revenue.
“The census shows why we are optimistic about the tree fruit sector’s future.” said Fred Steele, B.C. Tree Fruit Association president.
Steele believes there are a number of reasons for the industry’s growth.
“We have benefitted from a strong Buy Local campaign, and our introduction of new varieties of cherries and apples is attracting premium prices and expanding export markets for our product,” he said.
“In terms of production, new horticultural practices that are more productive and environmentally friendly, as well as the introduction of the seasonal agricultural worker program (Mexico and Caribbean workers), have removed barriers to growth.”
The B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association represents 520 family operated farms.