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Apr 25, 2022
Fresh fruit growers in California identify top 10 issues

Challenges are common and expected, especially in our industry where so many factors play a part in fresh ag. In a recent “Top Issues Survey” for 2022 of California Fresh Fruit Association members, the association learned the top hurdles our fresh produce community wants to be focused on this year.

Ian LeMay

The California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) membership has again provided staff a strong assessment of the issues that the industry will grapple with during the 2022 season. As we saw in 2021, the California fresh fruit industry continues to be impacted by water supply availability, increasing costs of production, and the pressure of operating in a state with a heavy regulatory environment, said CFFA President Ian LeMay.

“Industry members remain committed to producing healthy and high-quality fresh produce for consumers both within the United States and globally. But make no mistake, these pressures are real and are having significant impacts on the functionality of the businesses we represent.”

As noted in the release, 10 issues were identified. These issues were noted as the most significant, those that CFFA members think will be challenging for 2022, and those they would want the association to focus its efforts on this year:

  • Water Supply Availability and Curtailment
  • Increasing Wage Costs (Base/Minimum Wages/Overtime Thresholds)
  • Groundwater Management Requirements (SGMA)
  • Federal Immigration Policies Addressing Current and Future Labor Forces
  • Health Care Costs (Policy Costs/Paid Sick Leave)
  • Labor Regulatory Compliance
  • Rising Fuel and Energy Costs
  • New Taxes (Commercial & Corporate)
  • Workers’ Compensation Costs
  • Federal and State Food Safety Compliance Requirements

“With the challenges fully acknowledged, CFFA will continue to act as the industry’s unified voice on these issues, and many more, in both Sacramento, California, and Washington, D.C.,” LeMay said.

As the fresh fruit industry continues to evolve and change, the CFFA staff will continue to adjust its focus to best meet the needs of its membership. The association noted it acknowledges issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have an influence on all advocacy efforts that the organization undertakes throughout 2022.

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