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BC Tree Fruits breaks ground on Oliver facility expansion

The expansion met with protest in 2022 from some orchardists
BC Tree Fruits officially broke ground for a new expansion to their Oliver facility. The cooperative has invested a great deal in the facility, including upgrades in 2018 that cut down the number of manual sorters required. (Western News File)

BC Tree Fruits broke ground on Wednesday for an expansion of its Oliver packing house.

Local elected officials and members of BC Tree Fruits were at the official groundbreaking on July 5 as work was already underway on upgrading the facility.

“We are pleased to see the progress being made here at the Oliver location,” said Warren Sarafinchan, president and CEO of BC Tree Fruits Cooperative. “The changes are intended to create a long term, sustainable future for tree fruit growers in British Columbia.”

In 2022, the expansion met with protest from fruit growers in the northern parts of the Okanagan after BC Tree Fruits announced the phase-out of its Kelowna and Lake Country facilities in favour of the Oliver facility. A majority of the apples produced by BC Tree Fruits’ 330 member families are in the northern and central parts of the Okanagan.

READ MORE: Farmers protest BC Tree Fruits surprise facility move from Kelowna to Oliver

The new packing lines are being added on top to upgrades made in 2018 to the Oliver facility. The expansion is also adding additional cold storage rooms and pre-grading lines.

One of the benefits of the upgrades will be in better water efficiency on the lines.

The Oliver packing house is a busy location as construction and installation will happen alongside the daily summer fruit operations.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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