Business

New cranberry processing plant boosts capacity in Richmond

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie (second from left) and Richmond-East MLA Linda Reid join Ocean Spray representatives Peter Dhillon, Randy Papadellis and Mike Stamatakos at the opening of a new cranberry processing facility Thursday. -
Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie (second from left) and Richmond-East MLA Linda Reid join Ocean Spray representatives Peter Dhillon, Randy Papadellis and Mike Stamatakos at the opening of a new cranberry processing facility Thursday.
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Ocean Spray representatives and local politicians cut the ribbon on a new $26-million cranberry processing facility in East Richmond Thursday.

The new facility—at 5700 Dhillon Way, near Hamilton—is six kilometres away from the cranberry co-operative's former cranberry receiving station in Richmond and promises to process the local crop more efficiently.

It boasts a 50 per cent increase in receiving capacity and will process 45 million kilograms (100 million pounds) of cranberries each year. The tart fruit is Richmond's largest agricultural crop.

Once berries are harvested from the fields this fall, growers can expect to see lower wait times when delivering crops to the new facility, according to Ocean Spray, a co-operative owned by over 700 cranberry growers in North America.

The facility sorts and screens cranberries and will use the berries processed for produces such as its Craisins dried cranberry product and juice.

"Almost 20 per cent of Ocean Spray’s total acreage in North America is in British Columbia, and so the new state-of-the-art receiving station will help us maximize the efficiency of handling our crop," said Peter Dhillon, a longtime local cranberry grower and vice-chair of the Ocean Spray board, in a news release.

It's been 15 years since Ocean Spray has built a new receiving station.

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