Booming BC Bluebbery!

Fruit production in Western Canada is booming. The main surge in growth is due to blueberries. BC is not only well known for its fresh blueberry fruit but also for its blueberry wines made by at least 7 fruit wineries and enjoyed all over the country and the key export markets of Asia, especially Japan where it is known for its high level of health properties (and of course yummy taste).

This fruit boom is welcome news for all fruit wine makers as the province has an abundance of raw material to work with and the area is more and more known for its huge quality supply.

British Columbia’s booming blueberry crop helped boost the province’s status as Canada’s top fruit-producing region, according to a Statistics Canada report.

B.C. produced $243.3 million worth of fruit in 2007, according to Statistics Canada’s fruit and vegetables production survey released Friday, an increase of 11 per cent from 2006 farm-gate values, and more than one-third of Canada’s $680.5 million worth of fruit production.

That led Ontario, which produced $213.7 million worth of Canada’s fruit crop, around 31 per cent and just slightly less than the value of its fruit crops in 2006.

In B.C., growth in the high-bush blueberry sector made the difference, according to the Statistics Canada survey. Statistics Canada measured a 36-per-cent surge in B.C.’s blueberry crop value, which totalled $92.5 million in 2007.

Land area planted in blueberries, Statistics Canada noted, increased by 45 per cent from 2006 to 2007, although the number of hectares of blueberry fields that were mature and in full production increased by only 18 per cent from year to year.

The value of B.C.’s apple crop, worth $40.4 million in 2007, was up five per cent, which dampened the provincial trend of declining amounts of land in orchard production. The Statistics Canada survey recorded a 1,800-hectare decrease in land devoted to apple orchards since 2002 in favour of vineyards devoted to B.C.’s expanding wine industry.

B.C.’s 2007 grape production, however, dipped due to poor weather to $26.9 million, an 11-per-cent drop from $30.5 million in 2006.

Source: Statistics Canada

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