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Cautious Optimism

President's Message

Friday, January 01st 2010

CFFA President,

Welcome to the California Fresh Fruit Association’s website. We hope you find the information here valuable and we encourage you to contact us with any suggestions or questions.

Happy New Year! Welcome to the California Grape and Tree Fruit League’s website. We hope you find the information here valuable and we encourage you to contact us with suggestions on how to make it even better.

The first decade of the 21st century has now come and gone with most tree fruit and fresh grape growers remaining cautiously optimistic (they are farmers after all) while acknowledging a general mixed bag of results for the past ten years coupled with a hefty douse of anxiety for the future.

You may well ask why this concern about the future when we are dealing with commodities that that should be growing in demand as they represent a healthy and nutritious path for consumers to follow. Well to give you some idea, this is the time on the calendar when we ask our members to rank public policy priorities for the current year and if you take a look at the issues listed below you can begin to understand why getting a good night’s sleep for someone in agriculture can be difficult.

  • Air Quality Regulations / Fees / Costs
  • Availability of Plant Health Materials
  • Climate Change Legislation
  • Energy Costs
  • Estate Tax Relief
  • Food Safety Issues / Audit Harmonization
  • Health Care Costs / Mandates
  • Immigration Reform / Ag JOBS / ICE I-9 Audits
  • International Trade / Exports
  • Invasive Pest Issues / Quarantines
  • Labor Costs / Minimum Wage
  • Labor Laws and Regulations / OSHA / ALRA / Card Check
  • Packaging Regulations
  • Produce Traceability Initiative / Implementation Costs
  • Promotion / Nutrition / Government Purchases
  • Sustainability Issue / Definition
  • Transportation Regulations / Rates / Availability
  • Water Quality Regulations
  • Water Supply Issues
  • Workers' Comp Costs

The fact is that many growers and shippers continue to ask the question whether consumers in the United States really care about a domestic food supply given the multitude and costs of regulation, especially in California. Many residents of this state seemed more concerned with “leading the nation and the world” rather than the unintended consequences of their actions which will in many cases render California agriculture uncompetitive along with a corresponding increase in the outsourcing of our vital food production. The challenge for the California Grape and Tree Fruit League and similar agricultural associations is to communicate the benefits, both in terms of food safety and security, to legislators and the general public in why it is important to their well-being to continue to grow the food we need in California. Our wish for 2010 is for a majority of legislators in Sacramento to recognize this basic fact.

Best wishes for 2010, and thanks again for visiting. If we can be of service, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for visiting our site and we sincerely hope that you will visit again soon.