California Citrus Mutual hosted Sabina Neumann, an economist with the International Trade Commission. Sabina’s extensive economic portfolio includes the produce industry. The International Trade Commission is a non-partisan agency that evaluates trade activities on varied business sectors in the United States. The visit with Kings River Packing and Orange Cove-Sanger Citrus included information about cost components, export challenges, and domestic factors that affect the per acre return for California citrus producers.
Much of the discussion evolved around offshore competitors dominating the retail scene in the October to December timeframe thus delaying harvest schedules to the point that there is fruit on the ground in significant quantities was the norm this season. The ability of offshore producers to enter the market at a lower price and still maintain a significant margin was also a focal point of the discussion.
The visit to the grove and packinghouse facilities by the ITC was part of CCM’s multipronged strategy to address increasing imports and the effect that is having on the citrus industry.