GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS UPDATE: Voicing Need for Grower Resources to Combat Invasive Pests

By Jacob Villagomez, Director, Governmental Affairs

Earlier this week, I proudly testified in support of AB 2827, by Assembly Member Eloise Reyes Gómez of Redlands, whose constituent citrus growers and homeowners are heavily impacted by the Oriental Fruit Fly quarantine. Alongside the Assembly Member, I briefed the Assembly Agriculture Committee on trade ramifications if full eradication is not achieved and highlighted the hard choices growers are forced to make if they are near detection sites. Further, I emphasized the need for relief to affected growers as they lack resources and stressed the importance of a more integrated approach to invasive species management.

While the bill does not ensure a substantial shift of ongoing efforts for eradication, it pushes the State to consider invasive species management as Sustainable Pest Management (SPM). Furthermore, it places direct responsibility for these efforts on our State Government, its agencies, and legislators. The bill was met with unanimous support and the need to mitigate invasive species was acknowledged as a fundamental of SPM to protect not just California citrus but to ensure its sustainability from harmful pests.

AB 2827 will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials (ESTM) within the next coming weeks. As the bill continues to move, we will continue to advocate for growers and highlight the importance of suppressing invasive species. While there is more work to be done, I am committed to amplifying the messages of our growers and holding our leaders accountable to address the challenges of growing fresh citrus throughout the State of California.

KSC Governmental Affairs Advocate Taylor Roschen, Jacob Villagomez, Assembly Member Eloise Reyes Gómez, Lindsay Carter with CACASA, and Reyes Staffer Hector De Leon.


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