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West Kelowna  

BC Tree Fruit growers force meeting over Lake Country plant closure

Pivotal apple meeting today

The BC Tree Fruits Cooperative board of directors and CEO are meeting with orchardists at a special general meeting Tuesday at the Peachland Communty Centre.

Today's meeting will deal with motions to potentially remove the existing board and put a halt to all real estate activities involving BC Tree Fruits.

The current board, led by CEO and president Warren Sarafinchan is being pressed for a vote either electronic or possibly by paper.

A vote of non-confidence in the current board could mean putting real estate sales on hold and not moving forward with the proposed investments in the Oliver packinghouse. It could also go as far as re-opening the Lake Country packinghouse.

The actual meeting gets underway at 10 a.m. and one of the orchardists who is spearheading the vote, Parm Saini, says he believes the vote should be wrapped up by noon today. "We have two thirds (of the vote). So we spent all night creating paper ballots and ballot boxes.They've hired two scrutineers, and the scrutineers will verify that everything's legit, accountable, it's gonna be a long day."

Saini says out of 217 members 200 have registered for today's meeting.

Saini says, "we want transparency, we have lost confidence in the CEO and the board of directors. We want them to show the growers the financials, we feel they have dropped the ball on where the membership is on this issue."

Castanet has reached out to Sarafinchan who has gone on record as saying this meeting and the issues surrounding it only represents a small number of members.

"It represents a small percentage of the total membership. So we have close to 220 voting members and we think there are about 34 members who are opposed to the proposed moves," Sarafinchan says.



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