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FCC supports B.C. wine and fruit producers impacted by winter cold snap

Mar 7, 2024

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is offering support to fruit and wine sector customers in B.C. who could face financial hardship as a result of prolonged cold temperatures over the winter that caused significant damage to wine vines and fruit trees across the province.

A blast of arctic air in January has damaged and, in some cases, destroyed the 2024 fruit crops, including peaches, plums and nectarines. Wine grapes were the most severely impacted with no 2024 vintage expected, and there is concern that many of the vines will not survive the cold. B.C. cherry production will be limited this summer as well.

“Areas close to lakes had more moderate temperatures, but overall, the cherry crop is expected to be down about 75 per cent,” said Glen Lucas, general manager of the BC Fruit Growers’ Association.

Many wine and fruit producers in B.C. may be facing a cash shortfall since losing vines, trees or full vineyards. Vines that are replanted take time to establish and bear quality fruit. “Fortunately for tree fruits, the temperatures were not cold enough to harm trees, as the farmers say, ‘there is always next year’,” concluded Lucas.

“FCC understands the uncertainty that comes with working in the agriculture and food industry,” said Jeff Affleck, FCC senior vice-president of Western operations, in announcing customer support. “Unfortunately, weather events like what’s happened in B.C. can make it difficult for expense obligations to be met.”

“We stand by our customers over the long term, helping them overcome challenges, and this year’s cold weather has certainly been challenging for many B.C. wine business owners and fruit producers. As a leader in financing to Canadian farmers, we have a responsibility to step up and help.”

Customer support is a central part of FCC’s business. The Crown corporation will consider additional short-term credit options, deferral of principal payments and/or other loan payment schedule amendments to reduce financial pressures on producers affected by last winter’s cold temperatures. FCC will also offer flexibility, and even a combination of options based on the individual needs of its customers, since each farm financial situation is unique.

Customers in B.C. are encouraged to contact their FCC relationship manager or the FCC Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301 to discuss their individual situation and options.

Although FCC customer support is being offered in specific locations, Canada’s leading agriculture lender offers flexibility to all customers through challenging business cycles and unpredictable circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture and food lender, dedicated to the industry that feeds the world. FCC employees are committed to the long-standing success of those who produce and process Canadian food by providing flexible financing, AgExpert business management software, information and knowledge. FCC provides a complement of expertise and services designed to support the complex and evolving needs of food businesses. As a financial Crown corporation, FCC is a stable partner that reinvests profits back into the industry and communities it serves. For more information, visit fcc.ca.


For more information or interviews, please contact:

Éva Larouche (bilingual)
Corporate Communication
Farm Credit Canada