April 3, 2019
by RONDA PAYNE
A lack of fresh federal funding means the industry associations for raspberry and strawberry growers are set to run deficits in 2019.
The budgets approved at the annual general meetings of the Raspberry Industry Development Council (RIDC) and the BC Strawberry Growers Association (BCSGA) at the end of March both project small deficits.
RIDC ended 2018 with a deficit of more than $19,000 due to lower revenues and a significant decline in federal funding following the end of Growing Forward 2. A new round of funding through AgriScience under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) has yet to be announced, leaving the council short of funding.
Strawberry growers also expect a drop in revenues.
BCSGA general manager Lisa Craig expects the association to receive greater levies in 2019, but that won’t offset the cost of advertising and research. The activities claim approximately two-thirds of the association’s budget. Similar to raspberry growers, the association has not received any new funding under CAP.
Still, this doesn’t mean the associations are cap-in-hand.
“The council is in a strong financial position … despite the small shortfall this year,” RIDC auditor John Pankratz told council members. “You’re in good solid shape.”
Still, imports mean growers are face significant competitive pressures that funding could help address. Processed strawberry sales continue to decline with few organizations choosing to use local berries in their products over the cheaper Mexican counterparts, for example.
“We’ve got maybe 50,000 pounds [in storage],” says Rhonda Driediger, owner of Driediger Farms, noting that Mexican strawberries land in BC at 80 or 85 cents a pound, below what BC growers need to make ends meet.
Fraser Valley berries flourish under “ideal” conditions
DELTA – With memories of the difficult spring of 2017 still fresh in their minds, farmers say strawberries are flourishing […]
Vol. 105 Issue 6
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
Hog farm won’t face charges
Okanagan drives land values
Where’s the beef?
Minister defends Bill 15 changes
Back Forty: Farmers, not just farmland, need revitalization
Editorial: No peace, no order
ALR restrictions make commuting a fact of life
Johnston’s Packers targeted by activists
Sidebar: When is a crime not a crime?
Berry growers get long-awaited funding boost
Proteobiotics reduce poultry, swine infections
Greenhouse growth stymied by gas prices
Increase farm productivity with cover crops
Ag Briefs: Water fees not evenly distributed among users
Ag Briefs: BC Tree Fruits prepares to relocate
Farmland trust explored for Island
New owner, same faces
Fruit growers cautiously optimistic on bloom set
Honeycrisp key to success for Golden Apple winners
Changes to slaughter rules taking too long
Going! Going! Gone
Local meat deamnd creating opportunities
Sidebar: Compost in 14 days
Ranch takes pasture to plate at face value
Market Musings: Technology has its challenges
Oliver veggie grower prefers wholesale
Grocer offers tips to get a foot in the door
Greenhouse veggie days a hit with school
Haskap research may help berry go mainstream
Research: Bee sensitivity linked to neonic pesticides
Fraser Valley orchardist calling it a day
Worming his way to the top of the heap
Mushrooms a viable crop for small growers
Island 4-H beef show celebrates 25 years
Woodshed: Deborah starts her vacation a golf widow
Brewery’s food program spawns farm project
Jude’s Kitchen: Celebrate dads!