B.C. Tree Fruits Cooperative’s apple exports to Asia have declined due to the coronavirus outbreak. (File photo)

Okanagan apple exports to Asia seeing big dip as COVID-19 spreads

B.C. Tree Fruits said that getting fruit into China has become more difficult

The fruit industry is the latest victim to feel the impact of the coronavirus as the industry struggles to export its products to Asia, the epicentre of the virus.

According to Warren Sarafinchan, B.C. Tree Fruits Cooperative CEO, the industry has been sending fewer exports to Asia since the virus started to spread in January.

“Getting any fruit into China right now has been quite challenging, particularly since we do so much business in the country,” said Sarafinchan.

“Right now, we’re watching how the coronavirus situation is unfolding in certain countries so we can take whatever appropriate action we need to take.”

He said the apple industry has been particularly hard hit.

“Currently, our apple exports don’t have any access to the Chinese market,” said Sarafinchan, adding the company is still exporting some of its apples to other Asian markets.

Given that the virus appears to be continuing to spread, Sarafinchan is concerned about the impact on cherry farmers, which export their products to international markets in June and July. He said he’s also particularly worried about the impact the virus is having on ports, which play a critical role in the fruit supply chain.

“Ports are one area where our products have slowed down or even stopped,” said Sarafinchan. “Since the global supply chain has slowed down by the novel coronavirus, we need to start thinking about how we’ll resume business when things get back up to speed.”

Despite the slowdown, Sarafinchan said none of his employees have been laid off and so far the financial impact has been minimal.

READ MORE: Canada’s largest airlines waiving fees to change flights because of coronavirus

READ MORE: Families voice outrage after school district discusses eliminating bus route to Kelowna school

Worldwide, more than 3,100 people have died and more than 92,000 have become sick from the novel coronavirus.

As of March 5, 33 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Canada, including 21 in B.C. There have been no confirmed deaths.

In response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Bank of Canada also recently cut its key interest rate target to 1.25 per cent to stimulate economic growth.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Abbotsford Trail Running Club has transformed the Valley Vertikiller into the Valley Verticuddler for 2020. (Matt Bolam photo)
Abbotsford Trail Running Club transforms Valley Vertikiller into Verticuddler for 2020

Local club has raised close to $3,000 for Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue with event

File Photo
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Agassiz Seniors Community

First declared outbreak in Agassiz-Harrison since pandemic began

The family and friends of Abbotsford resident Kaitlyn Cassels have launched a GoFundMe for her after she suffered serious injuries following a bad fall on Thursday night. (Submitted)
GoFundMe created for Abbotsford woman after horrible fall

19-year-old Kaitlyn Cassels suffers many injuries after falling 27 feet off Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge

The group Fabric Bag Solution recenty donated 45 handmade reusable shopping bags to the Archway Food Bank in Abbotsford. (Submitted photo)
Volunteer group donates homemade shopping bags to Archway Food Bank

Fabric Bag Solution makes reusable bags for B.C. food bank patrons

A pair of crashes on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack have snarled traffic in both directions.
Pair of crashes snarl traffic between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Traffic delays eastbound, large westbound backup

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

NDP Leader John Horgan speaks with the owner of a barber shop while campaigning in Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. Campaigning was restricted by the coronavirus pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s B.C. majority came with historically low voter turnout

Barely half of eligible voters cast ballots in snap election

A police pursuit ended with an arrest in Williams Lake on Highway 97 Sunday afternoon. (Facebook video screenshot)
Video catches police pursuit that ends with man kicked, punched in Williams Lake

A video of the arrest is getting widely shared on social media

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil forfeiture office alleges $2M Surrey home was used to launder cannabis money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Most Read