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Appeal denied: Oliver fruit packing company has to pay $7,000 fine

Computer error tried to send out lot of cherries that had failed inspection
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An Oliver fruit packing company lost their appeal of a $7,000 penalty for their computers trying to send out a lot of cherries after failing inspection. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

Despite launching an appeal, an Oliver fruit company will still have to pay a $7,000 penalty levied by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The agency had levied the fine in 2019 to Krazy Cherry Fruit Company after a clerical error had them submit an already rejected shipment of cherries for export a second time.

The company launched an appeal of the decision, which was made in August 2022 and recently published by the Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal, claiming that there had been no damage done and that the error had been unintentional.

According to the report on the appeal, the lot of cherries had initially been inspected in July of 2019, after which several pests were found by the agency’s inspector, resulting in them being deemed unfit for export.

Up until Aug. 3, the fruit company’s packaging spreadsheet had the rejected lot of cherries with a ‘not passed’ inspection listing. On Aug. 3, the agency received an email with an application for export inspection for cherries destined for Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. The Krazy Cherry lot was among the three listed on the application.

An email from Krazy Cherry on Aug. 4 with the packaging spreadsheet had replaced the ‘not passed’ listing with a ‘passed inspection’ one instead.

The export inspector caught the error and called the company before the cherries could be shipped. Despite them not leaving the destination, the risk was enough justification for the fine.

“In the event a country had received the cherries and realized they had been imported under false pretences, this could have had a serious impact on the importation of agricultural goods from Canada, causing serious economic damage to the exportation of Canadian agricultural products,” reads the appeal decision.

The agency then levied the fine of $7,000 for submitting a false or misleading statement to an inspector. The judgement recognized that there had been no intent to mislead, but that the intent does not matter.

The fine was already reduced from the usual $10,000 fine for such violations due to the company’s lack of prior issues.

READ ALSO: Inattentive Osoyoos husband owes wife nearly $800,000 after he rear-ended her car

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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