Peter Dhillon

A farmer, business man and community leader, Peter Dhillon is a driving force in Canada’s growing cranberry industry. Peter brings a strong sense of ethics and duty to enrich the agricultural industry in Canada through his farming operation, community work and philanthropy.

Peter’s career as a second generation cranberry farmer began when he was 11 years old, working alongside his parents in the bog on their farm in Richmond, BC. As cranberries have grown into a big crop in Canada – production levels have doubled since 2007 – so too has Peter’s place in the industry. He owns the largest cranberry farm in Canada with operations in BC and Quebec as part of the Richberry Group of Companies. He is one of the largest shareholders of the Ocean Spray 700 grower-owned cooperative, and he’s the first non-U.S. and first visible minority chair of the Ocean Spray board.

At the helm of the Ocean Spray board, Peter has helped lead the group’s environmental stewardship plans – developing a long-sighted program for soil health, water stewardship, pest management, ecosystem conservation and sustainable economics for local communities. Peter is a prominent leader in the agriculture industry and his local Richmond community. Charity and philanthropy are lifelong practices and he goes out of his way to be an ambassador for agriculture, and uses his position in the business world to advocate and speak up for the industry. Peter is also a keen advocate for healthy communities through nutrition, sports and agriculture-related community building.

His generosity of time and resources has supported a diverse range of initiatives in his community, in business and in agriculture. In 2008, Peter supported the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture at Kwantlen Polytechnical University. In 2015, the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics opened at the University of British Columbia – a donation that Peter saw as an important way to help plant the seeds for the next generation. In memory of his father Rashpal Dhillon, Peter established two research funds at UBC in his father’s name for cranberry research and idiopathic pulmonary research.

Peter served on the Agricultural Land Commission that oversees all agricultural lands in British Columbia, and has served on boards of local hospitals, transportation authorities and the Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency. He was recently chosen to join the board of governors of the Bank of Canada. Peter’s contributions were further recognized with his appointment to the Order of British Columbia and as a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

From his family’s cranberry bog to the boardroom, Peter Dhillon is making a big difference in Canadian agriculture as a community leader, businessman, farmer, volunteer and philanthropist.

Nominated By:
  • Honourable Wally Oppal