In General Discussions
Feb 19, 2021
After fifty years in agriculture this is not the first time I have seen this scenario. The last time it was the failing Valencia orange industry in Southern California. Growers had been told for years by Packers and various Commissions that supplementing the market with fruit from South America and elsewhere would only strengthen our position in the marketplace it did not and what is now left of the Valencia Orange production in Southern California is not economically viable. The California Avocado Commission has played an important leadership role over the years and is an important representative in our industry. However, CAC’s response in December regarding a 201-monitoring request was dismissive and insulting to all California Growers. Additionally, packing houses remain silent and reluctant to challenge CAC on the behalf of growers. As growers we are used to multiple stops along the distribution chain where the value of our crop is diluted by packers, shippers, retailers etc. all these necessary to return our hard work and money with a reasonable return on investment. CAC on the other hand would have us pay a tribute to them for their oversight and protection and then suggests that we “become better farmers” rather than try to limit the sea of Mexican Avocados. Make no mistake in time this shortsighted approach will relegate our small segment of the global production irrelevant. Low production costs suggested that Mexican growers can show a profit at prices that are half of what California growers were offered in the first weeks of February 2021. This range of return should be kept in mind as California Growers become better farmers. It is incumbent upon us as growers to make sure that groups like CAC who use our money to pay in house legal teams use those resources to create results that positively affect the welfare of Californian growers.