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L.W. Truscott Farms' Gary and Susan Snow are third generation cherry farmers in Creston, BC. Over the years, the landscape of the local and international cherry market has changed, and with it, L.W. Truscott Farms has had to adapt. Thanks to BCIC's Commercialization of Agricultural Technologies (CAT) Program, the Snows have been able to successfully expand their business and are headed in a new direction: the production of cherry juice.

At one time, the Snows' late harvest cherries were in high demand in the international market, with Europe and Asia being their main customers. However, in recent years, the influx of cheaper, imported late variety cherries produced and sold internationally, falling prices and a stronger Canadian dollar, along with the expectation in all markets for a perfect, non-blemished cherry were making it harder for L.W. Truscott Farms to compete and be profitable in the world market. Worst yet, in 2009, extremely heavy rains caused 200,000 pounds of tree-ripe cherries to split, making them unsellable. These culled cherries are normally thrown away or sent to landfills. It became apparent to the Snows that their livelihood was at stake and that business diversification was a necessity.

The idea of utilizing the ripe, culled cherries and processing them into juice was not new to the Snows. The challenge for them was building the capability to process the juice right there on the farm. BCIC's CAT Program gave the Snows the final push to move forward with their venture. The CAT Program was developed to strengthen BC's agriculture, food and bioproducts sector. It bridged the gap between research and industry by transforming innovations into real world solutions.

The fruits of their labour paid off as the Snows were awarded a total of $160,000 from the CAT Program and through it developed a viable business plan and secured the funding required to build the juice processing plant. Thanks to the funding from the CAT Program, L.W. Truscott Farms is home to Tabletree cherry juice. They hope to be able to enlarge their processing facility to accommodate an increased production capacity and expand outside of BC.

"The BCIC CAT competition was structured in such a way that it taught us how to build a successful platform to start from and with the help of many mentors, friends and industry experts we developed a winning business plan and presentation." - Gary and Susan Snow, L.W. Truscott Farms



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