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Trouble or peace in the fruit industry

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Trouble or peace in the fruit industry

Postby Straight Shooter » Jan 21st, 2013, 11:00 am

Not to sound too negative, but if you think that there will be peace in the fruit industry amongts members with the election of two Indo-Canadians into the executive of the BC Fruit Growers Association again in Mr. Dhukia and Mr. Dhaliwal, think again. What was once a mainly white persons country club over the past century has changed and it reflects on not just the BCFGA but as well as in the Board of Directors in the Okanagan Tree Fruit Co-operative where at this moment there is a split between whites and Indo-Canadians. I've seen and heard the racist remarks and know it does exist and anyone who says it doesn't is not facing the real world. What will happen in the future? I hope for the sake of the industry there will be peace and harmony but history tells a much different story.
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Re: TROUBLE OR PEACE IN THE FRUIT INDUSTRY

Postby joer2012 » Jan 21st, 2013, 11:49 am

Maybe these IndoCanadians will show what hard work is all about. Demonstrate competitiveness and a view from the outside world, instead of an entitled, isolated approach.

Harsh times everywhere, time to knuckle down, cut waste and just get on with business.

Maybe time the "country club" was shut down.
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Re: TROUBLE OR PEACE IN THE FRUIT INDUSTRY

Postby Thinktank » Jan 21st, 2013, 12:37 pm

Good luck Indo Canadian fruit growers with your new elected presidents.

BC fruit industry has been doing stupid things for thirty years. Good luck trying
to undo the damage.
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Re: TROUBLE OR PEACE IN THE FRUIT INDUSTRY

Postby jwink » Jan 21st, 2013, 12:38 pm

I have been in the Fruit Industry for over 35 years and hope this change in leadership from the "good old boys club" will challenge all areas of the business - get away from the "we have done it that way for years" type of thinking.
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Re: TROUBLE OR PEACE IN THE FRUIT INDUSTRY

Postby diggerdick » Jan 21st, 2013, 12:57 pm

The embarrassments of the last year with the media and dealing with provincial and federal governments were brought on by inexperience and an arrogant bully attitude.

The vice president at that time went along with all those policies and even praised the disgraced president for his actions.

BC fruit growers Association has seemed to have changed into the IndoCanadian fruit growers Association whose policies are to get money for their people . not for the good of all the British Columbia fruit farmers.

I can see the embarrassment and bullying tactics Continuing and the provincial and federal governments closing their doors to talks because they do not respond well to acts of intimidation

The new president is going to have to prove, that he is not simply going to carry on the lunacy that went on last year.
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Re: TROUBLE OR PEACE IN THE FRUIT INDUSTRY

Postby Straight Shooter » Jan 21st, 2013, 2:02 pm

Note: This article was written in May 2011 and since been updated. Racism is an ungly word but it does exist.

There's potential trouble brewing in the valley fruit industry and it has nothing to do with low apple prices according to a long time Industry employee here in Kelowna. This person who wants to remains anominous says with who is buying and leasing orchard has drastically changed over the last 20 years and with those changes also comes racial discrimination. “ When I started working here over 30 years ago the fruit growers in the valley were a mixture of Portuguese, Japanese, European, Canadian, and maybe less than 1% were of East Indian decent,” says Bryde. “When population growth boomed in the valley and orchards were pulled out to accommodate that growth, and when apple prices didn’t meet the cost of production a lot of those ethnic farmers simply got out of the tree fruit business and an influx of wealthy Punjabi State immigrants from India began buying those orchards to a point where to-day over 60% of those orchards are either owned and leased by orchardist of South Asian decent.” The number of South Asian farm workers has increased as has the numbers of South Asian working in the valley’s 4 remaining packinghouses run by the Okanagan Tree Fruit Co-operative, a company that is the largest fruit packing cooperative in Canada but also reportedly in debt of close to 50 million dollars. To satisfy Creditors the company is now being forced to cut costs to a point where massive restructuring has taken place in form of plant closure, firings and of new hires both in management and in worker personal. An unconfirmed report says the company has a policy in placed to increased the numbers of South Asians in the work place as a means to cut labour costs and gradually decreased the number of unionized employees. The Vaughn Ave. plant has a unionized workforce of around 132 employees where 38 or around 29% of those are Indo-Canadians, the Winfield, Oliver and Osoyoos may even have a higher percentage with a large number being related in some form to the orchardist. The Okanagan Tree Fruit Co-operative hired a new Director of Operations in 2010 who is Indo-Canadian(since fired) and also in of August of the same year orchardist elected the first two Indo-Canadians to serve as Board of Directors of the OTFC in Olivers’s Nirmal Dhaliwal and Kelowna’s Phil Patara. Since then three more Indo- Canadians have been voted in to the Board now creating a split vote and the Executive of the BC Fruit Growers Association is now predominately Indo-Canadians.
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Re: Trouble or peace in the fruit industry

Postby damngrumpy » Jan 27th, 2013, 4:05 pm

Let us look at a few misconceptions here There is no intention to hire more
Indo Canadians to cut costs, false there is a contract in place. The people
applying are not all South Asians there are others who apply as well to the
packinghouse. The Indo Canadians who were elected to the board actually
had wide support from farmers. I am not Indo Canadian i Voted for almost
all of them currently on the board. The reason is they had something to offer.
As for the election, nearly half the membership showed up to vote at the BCFGA
election. The vote was extremely close somewhere near a dozen votes difference
That means there is a split to some degree, but not on racial lines. Many Indo
Canadians did not vote for the current President. In fact there is positive news
in that people voted the way they did for various reason, and not just racial.
I think the industry is missing some depth, they have some issues of leadership
and understanding how the political world works but that will come hopefully
with time.
There aer many who chime from the peanut gallery on how the operation should
be run and that is fine except many haven't got a clue as to what they are talking
about. Especially those who don't know the difference between the Packinghouse
BC Tree Fruits and the BCFGA they are all separate entities and they deal with a
different agenda an no they are not the same boards of directors.
The factor is time, if the new BCFGA President demonstrates he is prepared to work
with all members in the organization he has a chance of being successful if he behaves
like the former President who resigned he will be trying to push a rope up hill as it
were. Personally I wish him luck, he will need it, he is short on experience but if
he makes some progress I will support him as a member.
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Re: Trouble or peace in the fruit industry

Postby dinosaur » Feb 1st, 2013, 12:32 pm

I would like to know in what way has the BCFGA was an old boys club? Are there any specific examples of discrimination/favoritism from previous administrations? I have seen a lot of racism on orchards, but it has never been a one way street. In several BCFGA elections hundreds of Punjabis have shown up just before the vote and left right after, their votes clearly arranged and not reflecting events at the convention itself. I realize this is a complicated issue and that there are many exceptions, but when much of the punjabi community votes as a block to strengthen the possition of their own community, I dont see why racial discussions should be avoided. If the caucasian comunity ever organized with the goal of keeping it white it would be national news and a human-rights tribunal.

If the BCFGA would go back to the delegates-only vote (perhaps doubling the #of delegates) at least the resolutions and discussion on the convention floor would be in harmony with the agendas of the pres and VP, and the discussions which lead to the election of any given candidate would be public. If BCFGA had a clear and transparent mandate, politicians would not be able to ignore the BCFGA as they could while Boparai president.
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Re: Trouble or peace in the fruit industry

Postby Thinktank » Feb 1st, 2013, 3:21 pm

the whole fruit industry was an old boys club.

the old boys who ran BC Tree Fruits kept 'clubbing' the growers on the head
with a different excuse every year.

Too much production. Glut.
Not enough production.
Canadian dollar too high.
etc. etc,. etc.

How much clubbing on the head by the old boys who run the show, can a grower take
before he rips out the trees?
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Re: Trouble or peace in the fruit industry

Postby dinosaur » Feb 4th, 2013, 10:58 am

Thinktank wrote:the whole fruit industry was an old boys club.

the old boys who ran BC Tree Fruits kept 'clubbing' the growers on the head
with a different excuse every year.

Too much production. Glut.
Not enough production.
Canadian dollar too high.
etc. etc,. etc.

How much clubbing on the head by the old boys who run the show, can a grower take
before he rips out the trees?


Niether the BCFGA, OKTF, BCTF, the prov, the feds, the CIA or KGB are responsible for the laws of supply and demand.
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Re: Trouble or peace in the fruit industry

Postby diggerdick » Feb 4th, 2013, 4:42 pm

I dont know,the cia is into some very strange things :dyinglaughing:
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Re: Trouble or peace in the fruit industry

Postby Thinktank » Feb 4th, 2013, 5:03 pm

dinosaur wrote:... laws of supply and demand.


If we're getting half our apple juice from China, and ripping out our apple trees
so people with McMansions can have a nice to build on,
and we're bringin in gala apples from Washington state to pack out in
our packing houses (to provide employment for ourselves)

while many people eat Kraft Dinner and complain that $2.00/lb is too expensive for apples,
how is that the law of supply and demand?

It's the law of poor management, by an old boys club.
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Re: Trouble or peace in the fruit industry

Postby dinosaur » Feb 5th, 2013, 11:43 am

Mr. Tank I nominate you for president! Your plan to force the public to buy whatever quality we grow for a high price is brilliant! All we need to do is pull bannanas, grapes, and oranges off the shelf and consumers will have to buy our fruit. Then apple growers will build acres of McMansions!
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Re: Trouble or peace in the fruit industry

Postby LANDM » Feb 5th, 2013, 9:36 pm

Thinktank wrote:
If we're getting half our apple juice from China, and ripping out our apple trees
so people with McMansions can have a nice to build on,
and we're bringin in gala apples from Washington state to pack out in
our packing houses (to provide employment for ourselves)

while many people eat Kraft Dinner and complain that $2.00/lb is too expensive for apples,
how is that the law of supply and demand?

It's the law of poor management, by an old boys club.

So can you give examples of where apple trees are being ripped out to build McMansions?
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