Its official, summer is here! “School” is finished, and the majority of this season’s crop is harvested. This season presented many ups and downs, and it is nice to finish on a positive note. Good movement and pricing were evident at the end of the season, our summer fruit has started well, and the lemon market has begun to rebound with additional foodservice distribution coming online. There is optimism that the improved pricing and movement will continue until the beginning of next season. Coronavirus has changed consumer demands that will likely continue for the foreseeable future as the virus does not appear to be fading.
As the citrus season winds down, legislation in Sacramento is beginning to, unfortunately, pick up. There are numerous bills CCM, agricultural groups, and the broader business community are opposing. There are calls for increased regulation on agricultural workplace safety due to the rising number of cases within the agricultural workforce. These calls by some legislators and the Attorney General fail to recognize the great work that all of you have done and will continue to do. They also fail to acknowledge that we are in a different phase of this virus without shelter-in-place. More and more people are out and about outside of essential work, and the presumption that businesses are automatically at fault must change. CCM is spreading this vital message with legislators and with the administration.
Yesterday, Ambassador Gregg Doud, the Chief Agricultural Negotiator at USTR, joined the CCM Board via Zoom. Ambassador Doud heard from the Board of Directors on how citrus growers have been impacted by the trade dispute with China and an update since the Phase One agreement. Ambassador Doud left the Board with encouragement about the status of the deal and many other trade opportunities around the world. With constant headlines related to increased tensions with China over Hong Kong and the coronavirus, it was great to receive some positive news that the Phase One agreement remains on solid footing.
There is much more on going the Board can attest to, it is impossible to summarize in these messages every issue. Please know that we are committed to doing the work day in and day out for this industry and are always available to answer your questions. We are never too busy for calls from the membership, and they help us stay focused on what is important to you. Please continue to reach out with any questions and concerns.