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Asian markets boost exports of Canadian cherries

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British Columbia cherry exports are soaring thanks to new access to Asian markets. Sour cherry exports grew 300 per cent between 2014 and 2015, with China as the main trade partner.

Exports of fresh sweet cherries — mainly to the United States, China and Hong Kong — doubled between 2012 and 2015 to more than $80 million; much of that growth is a result of rising sales in China.

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick attributed much of the increase to a successful federal trade mission in 2014 which resulted in unfettered access for British Columbia exports of cherries to China.

“As a direct result of our efforts, the export value of fresh, sweet cherries to China has more than doubled from 2014 to 2015, rising from $9.9 million to $24 million,” said Letnick.

Letnick said the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal recently signed by Canada will open new trade opportunities on the Pacific Rim. Under the TPP, British Columbia will have the opportunity to target new export markets in Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia.