Ambrosia Apples in the Okanagan Valley

Okanagan Plant Improvement Corporation (PICO) is a variety rights management company that licenses new varieties of tree fruits and berries domestically and internationally. PICO has exclusive evaluation, distribution, propagation and commercialization rights from the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) for plant material developed in the apple, cherry, berry and soft fruits breeding programs of Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC) at both Summerland and Agassiz, British Columbia Canada.

PICO represents both government and private plant breeders. On behalf of variety owners, PICO grants rights to growers and other third parties to propagate new varieties and produce and sell the fruit of such varieties. In return, the licensees pay licensing fees and royalties to PICO which PICO administers on behalf of the owners. PICO also operates Canada’s only virus free budwood orchard at PARC, Summerland which supplies plant propagation material to nurseries, orchardists and commercial growers worldwide. PICO is owned by the British Columbia Fruit Growers' Association.

PICO’s clients include small, independent farmers, large-scale vertically integrated growers, fruit companies and nurseries across Canada and abroad. PICO currently manages intellectual property rights in more than a dozen countries, and is regarded as a world leader in the area of variety rights management.