Cancel OK

British Columbia banks on berries

Canada’s westernmost and third largest province, British Columbia also produces a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Home to 3,180 fruit growers, British Columbia’s total fruit farm gate value reached nearly $430 million in 2017—the highest in the country.

British Columbia is a berry lovers’ dream: the province’s top fruit crops include blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, and cranberries. Most is grown in the province’s relatively mild southwest region, which enjoys up to 180 frost-free days each year.

The province was responsible for nearly 95 percent of marketed highbush blueberry production and also accounted for about 40 percent of Canada’s grape production value.

British Columbia also continues to dominate production of sweet cherries: the province’s marketed production rose by nearly 50 percent in 2017.

Greenhouse vegetable production is also big business, though not quite to the level of sibling province Ontario.

British Columbia represented 19 percent of total farm gate value for Canada’s greenhouse production in 2017, valued at nearly $126 million. The province’s top greenhouse vegetables were the customary tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.

The vast majority of Canada’s fruits and vegetables are grown in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, with a small portion coming from Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island (PEI).

Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia account for nearly 90 percent of total vegetable cultivated area and approximately two-thirds of total fruit cultivation, according to Statistics Canada.

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full supplement.