Kappel to discuss growth of cherry industry

The story of Summerland’s role in the sweet cherry industry will be told at a free presentation later this month.

Frank Kappel

The story of Summerland’s role in the sweet cherry industry will be told at a free presentation later this month.

Frank Kappel, a retired research scientist, will speak on Cherries: B.C.’s Cinderella Story, at the Summerland Seniors Village on March 26.

Sweet cherry exports from British Columbia have more than tripled in the last 10 years, from 2,031 metric tonnes in 2003 to 7,337 metric tonnes in 2014.

The value of B.C. cherry exports has risen from $11.3 million to $41.7 million in the same period.

“The varieties that led to this increase in exports are all from the Summerland Research Station. Without the release of these high-quality, late-maturing varieties the cherry industry in B.C. wouldn’t be where it is today,” Kappel said.

Kappel led the sweet cherry breeding program at the Summerland Research Station from 1994 to 2011.

His presentation follows the annual general meeting of the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Historical Society at 7 p.m.in the Seniors Village, 12803 Atkinson Rd., Summerland.