Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross and Ag Leaders meet with Governor Brown on Trade Tariffs

State Board President Don Cameron, left, next to Governor Brown and CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. Other meeting attendees included: Rob Yraceburu, Wonderful Orchards LLC; Carolyn Wasem, Jackson Family Wines; David Ahlem, Hilmar Cheese Company; Dan Sumner, UC Ag Issues Center; Mike Gallo, Joseph Gallo Farms; Aaron Lange, Lange Twins; Jonathan Hoff, Monte Vista Farming; Frank Muller, Muller Ranch; Rayne Thompson, Sunkist Growers and Fruit Growers Supply Company and Paul Wenger, Wenger Ranch.

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross and State Board of Food and Agriculture President Don Cameron joined a group of agricultural leaders yesterday to discuss trade issues and tariff impacts with California Governor Jerry Brown. California is the largest agricultural producer and exporter in the nation. Recent trade actions by China and other foreign governments to increase tariffs will have a large potential trade impact on the state’s farmers, ranchers and farmworkers.

Farm leaders and the governor discussed the need for a quick federal resolution on tariff and trade negotiations given the quickly approaching shipping season for a variety of California products.  California exports 100 percent of the nation’s table grapes and tree nuts, 91 percent of wine, 56 percent of citrus and more than 31 percent of the nation’s dairy products. Tariffs are not only impacting current shipments, but also food processing and canning with increased steel costs as well as other rising on-farm expenses.

California farmers and ranchers are seeking immediate resolution to the ongoing tariff and trade re-negotiations to keep exports growing and farmers farming. Every dollar of agricultural exports stimulate another $1.28 in business activity, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture. California exports more than $20 billion in agricultural products.

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