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Sikh farmers enters the prestigious Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

A Sikh farmer from Canada, Peter Dhillon, who is the country's biggest cranberry farmer is again setting example for others. This man has made history with his induction into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. Moreover, he is the first person from the visible minority community to join the company of great Canadians who have made huge contribution in agriculture and agro-food sector.

Dhillion is currently the chairman of Ocean Spray, a marketing cooperative of cranberry farmers in Canada as well as the US. The company sells its products in more than 90 countries, with yearly sales of over $2.5 billion.

The achievement is not new for this enthusiastic farmer, who broke the glass ceiling to become the first non-white chairman of Ocean Spray in 2014. Dhillion owns the Richberry Group of Companies based in Richmond (British Columbia).

Expressing his happiness during the induction ceremony, Dhillion said, "It’s a great honour for me and I feel humbled as there are so many others who deserve this honour”.

He further told that his father Mr. Rachpal Singh Dhillon left their village Pandoli (in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab) in 1950 and came to Canada. He then became the very first Indo-Canadian to join the RCMP or Royal Canadian Mounted Police at an early age of 19, rising to the position of Deputy Sheriff.

He added that in 1981-82, his father took early retirement to get into full time cranberry farming. After completing the law degree in 1993, Peter Dhillon also joined the family business. At present, he has more than 2000 acres of land in Massachusetts. His Richberry Group in 2017 produced over 20 million pounds of cranberries and soon they hope to hit the 30 million production mark.

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