KELOWNA, BC – BC Tree Fruits Cooperative (BCTF), comprised of over 430 grower families from across the Okanagan, Similkameen and Creston Valleys, announces the closure of their Osoyoos facility. For over 80 years, this facility has been utilized for the receiving, packing and storage of the contracted growers’ fruit. In addition, BC Tree Fruits operates a small retail market within the facility.
After careful review and consideration by BCTF Senior Management, the Board of Directors (comprised of 10 Cooperative contracted growers) approved the decision to move forward with the closure of the facility. With multiple costly upgrades required to the aging building, the decision to consolidate operations in the South region to the Oliver facility is projected to provide long term savings that will positively impact the Cooperative.
“On behalf of all our growers, we continue to be strategic in our long-term plans to operate our organization and all facilities most efficiently with the one goal in mind – maximizing grower revenues,” says BCTF Chief Executive Officer Stan Swales. “The decision to move forward with this closure was made with the long-term success of the Cooperative in mind.”
Currently the South region has a shared employee seniority list of approximately 250 employees. All of these employees will continue to be scheduled in Oliver and will not see a significant change to their normal scheduled activity.
The facility will receive apples this fall. Once all the fruit is received this year, the facility will officially cease daily operations. The Oliver packinghouse will undergo multiple upgrades in both technology and equipment to handle the increased packing needs beginning with the 2018 crop. After over thirty years of operation, the retail market will close September 9, 2017. Future plans for the facility and property are currently being reviewed by Senior Management and the Board of Directors.