Aug 27, 2018
British Columbia fresh cherry varieties to hit Japanese markets

British Columbia fresh cherries will be sold extensively in Japan going forward.

Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay and Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, Stephen Fuhr, announced the market access on Aug. 24 as a clear deliverable from MacAulay’s recent trade mission to Japan in March.

In 2017, Japan imported over $62.7 million (CAD) of fresh cherries from around the world.

“The B.C. Cherry Association is extremely pleased that efforts from government and industry have secured access to the Japanese market for Canadian cherries,” B.C. Cherry Association President Sukhpaul Bal said in a released statement. “Our growers and industry partners look forward to building long-lasting relationships with Japanese customers and cannot wait to see cherries branded with the maple leaf in stores across Japan.”

Once the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) enters into force, Canadian agriculture and agri-food exports will benefit from preferential access to key Asian markets, including Japan. Through the CPTPP, Japan’s tariffs of 8.5 percent on fresh cherries will be eliminated over 5 years from entry into force.

“Our government has worked closely with B.C.’s cherry growers to achieve this significant milestone,” Fuhr said. “Selling fresh, high-quality cherries to Japan will help drive economic growth, while creating more job opportunities in British Columbia.”

Fresh cherry exports to Japan could be worth up to $8 million annually, according to industry experts. The increased access will advance the competitiveness of, and create new opportunities for, the fresh cherry sector.


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