B.C. greenhouse peppers cleared for Japan

Canada and Japan have agreed on import conditions by which British Columbia’s produce growers will be able to ship greenhouse peppers to Japan.

The agreement, effective immediately, means the province’s growers “could be looking at up to $20 million worth of pepper exports a year to Japan once the agreement is fully implemented,” B.C. Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick said Friday in a statement.

Industry journals on Thursday reported Delta, B.C.-based greenhouse produce firm Windset Farms would be the first to ship to Japan, after an agreement was reached addressing Japan’s concerns about tobacco blue mold, a fungal pathogen that can affect peppers.

British Columbia growers produced over 40,000 tonnes of peppers in 2015, worth $141 million, Letnick said Friday. Of that figure, $90 million was in exports, the federal government said.

Total Canadian exports of fresh peppers worldwide reached $330 million in the same period, the government said.

Japan’s imports of fresh peppers from all countries were valued at $169 million in 2015, the federal government added.

“Japan is an important market for Canadian businesses, and I was very pleased to advocate for our exporters during a working visit to Japan in May,” federal Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said Friday in the government’s release. — AGCanada.com Network

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