Farmer stages big berry dump as plea for gov’t help
CTV British Columbia
Published Thursday, Jul. 5, 2012 4:42PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, Jul. 5, 2012 6:39PM PDT
Frustrated B.C. farmers say that local buyers are killing their business purchasing only imported strawberries.
To drive his point home, Birak Berry Farms manager Ravinder Gill symbolically dumped a truckload of berries on the side of No. 6 Road in Richmond on Thursday.
“This pile denotes that the strawberry is garbage this year for us because nobody is buying,” he told CTV News.
According to growers, many major B.C. supermarkets and berry processors are choosing to buy cheaper imported berries from California and Mexico.
“This year, the canneries in Abbotsford have bought only 15,000 lbs. from us, which is like 0.1 per cent of the total,” Gill said.
He estimates that 400,000 lbs. of berries will be wasted on his farm this year – which will be a big loss because the labour to pick the fruit costs the company about 40 cents per pound. He wants Premier Christy Clark to step in to help the province’s strawberry farms.