Perfect Cherries: From Tree to Table (video)

Researchers in Summerland, British Columbia, are helping cherry growers take advantage of new markets by developing new techniques for harvesting, processing, and shipping cherries overseas, as well as a new cherry variety -- the Staccato. Take a look at our video to learn more.

Video transcript

[An image and a maple leaf appear on screen.  This is the title graphic for the video.]

[Light, electronic music fades in.]

Text on screen:  Perfect Cherries From Tree to Table

[The video opens with a shot of a branch of a cherry tree.  It's loaded with fruit.]

Narrator:  Cherries are an important crop for Canada.

[The shot changes to a close up of cherries on a branch.]

And new markets for our cherries are opening up all around the world.

[Cut to a shot of researcher Kelly Ross holding a cherry in her hand.]

Dr. Kelly Ross and her colleagues at the Summerland Research Centre...

[Cut to a shot of the front of the Summerland Research Centre building.  A map of Canada fades in over top of the image.  On the map we can see where the Summerland Research Centre is located.]

Text on screen:  Summerland Research Centre, Summerland, British Columbia

...in Summerland, British Columbia, are helping growers to take advantage of these new markets...

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Kelly Ross and two colleagues sorting fresh cherries.]

...by developing new techniques for harvesting, processing, and shipping cherries overseas.

[Cut to a close up shot of the fresh cherries being sorted.]

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Kelly Ross standing in a lab at the Summerland Research Centre.  She is speaking slightly off camera.]

Text on screen:  Dr. Kelly Ross, Research Scientist, Summerland Research Centre, Summerland, British Columbia

Dr. Kelly Ross:  Sweet cherry production is primarily in the Okanagan region of BC and it's very important to the economy of this region.

[Cut to a medium shot of a person working with test tubes under a fume hood.]

This work really seeks to understand how different orchard management practices will impact the quality of the sweet cherries at harvest...

[Cut to a close up shot of fresh cherries.]

...and to address quality retention of these cherries upon longer term storage...

[Cut back to a shot of Dr. Kelly Ross.]

...so the overseas export market can be provided with a high quality, healthy cherry.

[Cut to a close up shot of fresh cherries.]

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Kelly Ross and her colleague walking through a cherry orchard.]

Narrator:  High quality cherries start in the orchard.  The application of fertilizer...

[Cut to a close up shot of the irrigation system used in the cherry orchard at the Summerland Research Centre.]

...the irrigation strategy...

[Cut to a close up shot of the canopy of a cherry tree.]

...the position of the canopy, the spacing of the trees, and the pruning practices...

[Cut to a close up shot of bunches of fresh cherries still on the tree.]

...can all have an effect on the quality of the cherry at harvest.

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Kelly Ross working in a cherry orchard.]

And how they're harvested and packaged will impact how their quality is maintained during the shipping process.

[Cut back to a shot of Dr. Kelly Ross.]

Dr. Kelly Ross:  They're still undergoing biochemical and metabolic changes after they're harvested...

[Cut to a shot of a man on a ladder picking fresh cherries from a tree.]

...so the key line of defense is to reduce the temperature of the cherry.

[Cut to a close up shot of a bucket of fresh cherries hanging from a cherry tree.]

Narrator:  Cherries are usually harvested early in the morning when temperatures are cool.  The cherries are put through a water bath at the packaging facility...

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Kelly Ross and colleagues sorting fresh cherries.]

...to cool them down even more.

[Cut to a close up shot of someone scooping fresh cherries out of a bin.]

Then they're packed into cardboard boxes with Modified Atmosphere Packaging liners.

[Cut to a wider shot of the person scooping fresh cherries out of a bin.]

Or MAP liners.

[Cut to a shot of two cardboard boxes filled with cherries.  The image suddenly splits and an animation allows us to see what's happening inside the cardboard boxes.  We can see that the MAP liner allows bad gases to escape the package, while bringing extra oxygen into the package.]

Dr. Kelly Ross:  Think of the liner as a really big plastic bag.  But it's made up of a polymer that's got special gas diffusion properties that allows the carbon dioxide to preferentially diffuse, or pass through, and allows oxygen to come into the liner so those cherries don't experience too high a carbon dioxide environment.

[Cut back to a shot of Dr. Kelly Ross.]

It also creates a relative humidity environment...

[Cut to a shot of a research assistant working with MAP liners.]

...that keeps the cherries from losing too much water so they can maintain a plump, firm texture.

[Cut to a close up shot of a cardboard box used to ship cherries.]

Narrator:  These liners can keep cherries fresh for up to 4 to 6 weeks.  Which will allow Canadian cherry producers to ship their product far overseas.

[Cut to a medium shot of cherries growing on a tree.]

Researchers at the Summerland Research Centre have also developed a new type of cherry...

[Cut to a series of shots of a single cherries inside a precision scale.]

...the Staccato cherry...

[Cut to a shot of two cherries on a stainless steel countertop.]

...that will provide Canadian cherry growers an advantage in the Asian cherry market.

[Cut back to a shot of Dr. Kelly Ross.]

Dr. Kelly Ross:  Staccato cherries are a late maturing variety.

[Cut to a shot of a man climbing a ladder to pick fresh cherries.]

It allows the producer...

[Cut to a different angle of the man using a ladder to pick fresh cherries.]

...to have a longer cherry growing season so they're not competing with all of those early maturing varieties.

[Cut to a map of the world.  As the narrator speaks, cherries pop up on the map to illustrate her points.]

Narrator:  British Columbia is the number one producer of sweet cherries in Canada.

[The camera zooms in on Canada.  A group of cherries appears over the province of BC.]

And sweet cherries are British Columbia's most valuable tree fruit crop.

[The cherries over BC change into dollar signs, one by one.]

Of the top ten markets for BC cherry exports...

[The camera zooms out to show the entire map of the world.  There is a single cherry over the United States.]

...five are in Europe...

[Five cherries appear over Europe.]

...and four are in Asia.

[Four cherries appear over Asia.]

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Kelly Ross standing in a lab and laughing with a colleague.]

The research being conducted by Dr. Ross and her colleagues in Summerland...

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Kelly Ross and a colleague working in a cherry orchard.]

...will ensure that the BC cherry industry will be better equipped...

[Cut to a close up shot of a bunch of cherries growing on a tree.]

...to take full advantage of new and emerging markets all over the world.

[Fade to white.]

[Fade up from white.]

Text on screen:  Modern.  Innovative.  Growing.  Discover other agricultural innovations at www.agr.gc.ca

[Cut to the animated Canada wordmark.]

Text on screen: Canada, © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2016).

[Light, electronic music fades out.]

[Fade to black.]

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