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CGTFL's Top Ten Issues

President's Message

Friday, January 29th 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.

CGTFL President, Barry Bedwell

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. Earlier this month, we sent out a list of 20 issues to our Board of Directors with the intent to have them select the ten most important for this calendar year. Here are the results:

1. Labor Laws and Regulations/Card Check/Occupational Safety

This issue was ranked fourth in 2009. The League has worked to push back against legislative attempts to sidestep the secret ballot process for employees and protect the workplace against political maneuvers to take away the right of the employer and employee during unionization attempts. In addition, the League remains at the forefront in working with the regulatory community on policies and procedures affecting heat injury and illness prevention.

2. Immigration Reform/AgJobs

After three years of being in the top spot this very important goal came in one place lower. This issue continues to rank high provided the nature of labor intensive practices that are required to bring high quality fruit to market.

3. Water Supply Issues

After coming in at number two in 2009, water availability remains a top concern as near and long term supply uncertainty have been the result from drought (both natural and regulatory), inadequate aboveground water storage and the growing demand for water.

4. Labor Costs/Minimum Wage

A slight change from number three in 2009, labor continues to rank high for League membership as it represents roughly 50-70% of production costs.

5. Invasive Pest Issues/Quarantines

With concern growing about light brown apple moths, European Grapevine moths and medflies, this issue moved up one place from 2009. The introduction of an invasive pest species resulting in quarantine would negatively affect the ability to ship fruit outside of the region. The League remains committed to ensuring state and federal authorities have the necessary tools and resources to combat invasive species.

6. Food Safety Issues/Audit Harmonization

This issue moved down one place from 2009 but in reality the concern over food safety probably has actually grown from last year. Despite the clean food safety record among fresh grape and tree fruit communities, League members continue to work to ensure that their commodities arrive in the hands of the consumer with no food safety concerns. The League remains set that any regulatory requirements should be enacted at the federal level and not the state level, apply to both domestic and imported products and be risk-based as well as commodity specific.

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