Global Fruit was created in 2002 when growers in the town of Creston were looking for a different approach to the way their fruit was marketed. A more open and transparent relationship was needed, moving away from the traditional ‘middle-men’ of the past. Up stepped Mr. Reg Mann, a Creston resident and respected local businessman. Over the next few years, his fresh approach meant that more growers in BC and many importers and retailers around the world wanted to work with Global Fruit, and in 2007 Reg brought in a ‘young gun’ by the name of Andre Bailey to work alongside him. Just a year later Andre took over the business, together with his wife Krista, and the next chapter in Global Fruit’s story began.
Andre was new to the fruit industry but brought a new energy and positive attitude, together with a highly inquisitive nature. He focussed on developing new markets for BC cherries, clocking up hundreds of overseas trips in the following years, and crucially he continued the open and transparent way of working that Reg had pioneered with the growers in BC. This model proved to be a huge success – the growers were able to invest in new orchards and improved packing facilities, and customers around the world kept calling every year to secure more of these beautiful cherries.
Fast forward a few years and now Global Fruit is the largest cherry marketing and export company in Canada, shipping BC cherries to more than 30 countries. The company has direct relationships with retailers around the world, and after recognising the need for vertical integration Andre even became a grower himself. For several years he and Krista have been investing in their own orchards (Rivers End Farms) in Creston where the team continuously innovates and tries new ideas that can improve quality, reduce environmental impacts and help secure the long-term viability of this important crop in BC.
Today Global Fruit is a team of professionals marketing more than 16m lbs (7000 metric tons) of fresh cherries every season, but crucially it is still a family business with the same core values that helped it grow – and we promise never to change!