Canada gains access to South Korea for British Columbia cherries

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Canada gains access to South Korea for British Columbia cherries

The Government of Canada has gained market access to South Korea for British Columbia's high-quality fresh cherries.

Canada has been working collaboratively with South Korea to gain access for fresh cherries since 2015. Increased exports into South Korea has been part of British Columbia's long-term strategy to grow international markets for cherries, while securing the best price.

The Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, who is Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food commented on the announcement: 

"With new access to the South Korean market, growers in British Columbia can continue to showcase their cherries around the world and expand trading relationships. This step demonstrates our government's commitment to get Canadian businesses into new and existing markets and stimulate economic growth."

Bilateral trade with Korea continues to grow – the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, implemented in 2015, has significantly facilitated the growth of bilateral trade, through its tariffs reductions (from 24 percent to 4.8 percent, with full elimination by 2024) and the predictable and transparent business environment it creates for respective industries. 

The President of the British Columbia Cherry Association, Sukhpaul Bal said: "Our growers and industry partners look forward to building long-lasting relationships with Korean customers and cannot wait to see cherries branded with the maple leaf in stores across South Korea."

South Korea remains a priority trading partner for Canadian agri-food products. This new access provides more opportunities for Canadian growers to diversify their exports in the Indo-Pacific region.

"By continually advocating for fair market access, our government is supporting our farmers, our workers and their communities. Today's announcement [...] provides Canadian farmers with new ways to deliver their world-class products to a growing market,” said the Honorable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development.

In agricultural trade, South Korea was the sixth-largest export destination for Canadian agri-food and seafood products in 2021.

“Canada and South Korea enjoy an important trading relationship, built on longstanding people-to-people ties and shared values, and this announcement reflects just that,” added Mary Ng.

Sweet cherries have now become Canada's second largest exported fruit crop behind blueberries, with exports continuing to grow each year, reaching $78 million in 2021. British Columbia’s cherry industry produces 95 percent of Canada's sweet cherries.

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