KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 8, 2013) - The summer fruit harvest has begun in British Columbia and BC Tree Fruits is kicking off this season with a consumer favourite - cherries. To celebrate this year's crop, BC Tree Fruits has developed a unique campaign with the help of the BC Government's Buy Local Program.

Delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with funding from the BC Ministry of Agriculture, the BC Government's Buy Local program will assist BC Tree Fruits in delivering their message to fresh produce consumers throughout the province that BC Tree Fruits cherries are only in-market for a short period of time, so "go get 'em" while you can. BC Tree Fruits' Marketing Manager, Chris Pollock, is thrilled to be part of this notable program. "We're very excited to share an Okanagan favourite, our BC Tree Fruits sweet, juicy and mouth-watering cherries."

"When you support our local tree fruit industry, you not only enjoy the benefit of the fresh and healthy foods they provide, you are also assisting British Columbia's agrifoods industry as a job creator and an integral part of B.C.'s economy," said B.C. Minister of Agriculture Pat Pimm. "I always look forward to seeing B.C. cherries at grocery stores and farmer markets each summer, and seeing how quickly they move off the shelves."

BC Tree Fruits are using $20,000 in funding from the B.C. Government's Buy Local Program to develop a marketing campaign to promote and increase sales of British Columbia's second largest tree-fruit crop, cherries.

As an extension to this campaign, BC Tree Fruits is announcing a partnership with local BC chefs and restaurants to develop original BC Tree Fruits cherry recipes. (Available here) Using BC Tree Fruits cherries, Bittered Sling (Vancouver), The London Chef (Victoria), and Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre (Kelowna) are sharing with the public new ways to cook them and to shake them up in cocktails, further encouraging the buy local movement.

BC Tree Fruits cherries will be available in grocery stores and markets across Western Canada the first week of July.

About BC Tree Fruits Industries Limited:

BC Tree Fruits Industries Limited is part of the BC Tree Fruits Cooperative and is owned by over 580 local grower families. BC Tree Fruits Cooperative markets and distributes a variety of BC grown fruit including apples, pears, cherries, peaches, apricots, prune plums and blueberries. BC Tree Fruits' head office is based in Kelowna, B.C.

Contact Information:

Media Contacts:
Andrea Bava

BC Tree Fruits Industries Limited
Chris Pollock
250.470.4213 or

Government Communications and Public Engagement
Dave Townsend
Ministry of Agriculture
250 356-7098