Assessment of the opportunities and challenges of organic cranberry production in BC

Assessment of the Opportunities and Challenges of Organic Cranberry Production in BC

Adarshana Thapa, MLWS 2016

Cranberries are known to have beneficial health effects but there is limited supply to meet local markets. As the demand for organic foods expands, interest in exploring organic cranberry production in British Columbia rises. Commercial cranberry production in British Columbia is well documented, but there is little information about the feasibility of growing organic cranberries.

This study focused on the economic feasibility and challenges of growing organic cranberries in the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia, the major producing region for cranberries in the province. The feasibility evaluation was based on three scenarios: a) growing cranberries on a field that has not been cultivated before; b) transitioning a field from conventional to organic cranberries; and c) transitioning from an organic crop to organic cranberries. This study integrated information from industry experts, local organic cranberry growers, researchers and academics. A financial analysis was conducted to provide an assessment of the economic feasibility of initiating organic cranberry production. A financial model, based on a 15-year time frame, was developed to be used by growers. The model projected that an economic break-even time of 7-14 years could be achieved.

Full report available upon request.