Fred Steele of Kelowna has been acclaimed as the BC Fruit Growers Association president.
It’s the fourth straight one year term for Steele.
Pinder Dhaliwal of Oliver is back as vice president.
“The entire executive is the same,” says Steele.
The BCFGA has about 550 members.
The Fruit Growers Association ended its annual meeting in Penticton with new hope for cooperation.
Steele says they are looking to work with the BC Tree Fruit Co-op to seek government grants including the national rejuvenation program.
“It’s a rejuvenation program for increasing the acreage. It won’t conflict with the provincial program,” Steele tells Kiss FM.
Steele says he will be in Toronto this week, to put the final touches on the funding application.
Photo: Fred Steele, BCFGA president
A Vernon orchardist won’t be running for president of the BC Fruit Growers Association after all.
Jeet Dukhia says he is already president of of the BC Tree Fruits Co-operative.
“I’m too busy with the BC Tree Fruits, and all of my fellow directors and growers are saying ‘Let’s concentrate on BC Tree Fruits this year,'” Dukhia tells Kiss FM.
Dukhia says suggestions that he would have been in a conflict of interest, leading both groups, were incorrect.
“I checked with my legal teams, and there is no such thing as a conflict of interest. It’s just ethics, so ethically they thought it wouldn’t have been perceived nicely by the growers to be president on both sides.”
Dukhia’s decision means Kelowna orchardist Fred Steele could be acclaimed to another one year term as president when the Fruit Growers elections are held later today at their AGM in Penticton.
Dukhia has run against Steele four times, with Steele winning three of those votes.
Dukhia says Steele wants to work closely with The BCTF Co-op.
“That’s very good. That’s very positive for the industry,” says Dukhia, who runs an orchard in Vernon’s BX. “With our previous deal, they didn’t get along with the BCFGA.”
Dukhia says the two groups working together can lobby governments for more grants to upgrade packing houses which he says are “40 years old” and “in need of new technology.”