Summerland Sweetheart Cherry Wins International Award
A Summerland cherry received international recognition this month winning the 2012 Outstanding Fruit Cultivar Award, by the American Society for Horticultural Science.
The Sweetheart Cherry which is produced at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC) in Summerland, was given the award for it's outstanding contribution to the fruit industry.
Cheryl Hampson, research scientist at PARC, says Summerland is known world wide for the cherries they produce.
"The Sweetheart and Lapins both of which were developed here in Summerland are mainstays of the BC industry. There are other cherries being produced here earlier and later but those two are two of the main varieties in our valley."
The Sweetheart Cherry was officially released in 1994 and is credited with reviving the sweet cherry industry in BC.
Hampson says the Sweetheart Cherry has significantly changed the cherry market in BC over the last two decade.
"British Columbia cherry exports accounted for about $500,000 annually for most of the 1990's. After Sweetheart and it's even later harvest progeny were put onto the market that has grown to almost $40 million in 2011."
The full interview with Hampson is available here:
Anita Sthankiya -Penticton