CCM President Casey Creamer was invited to participate in a panel presentation at the State Board of Food and Agriculture meeting on February 11th. Creamer gave a state of the citrus industry presentation on the top issue facing growers today, which is profitability. Cost drivers such as labor, water, and pest and disease are cutting into growers bottom lines while trade disputes and increasing global competition from lower-cost countries are leading to reduced revenues.

“Today cost of production for the average citrus grower is between $12-$14 per carton, and average pricing is below $11 per carton for navels,” stated Creamer. “This is the second straight year with prices below the cost of production and is unsustainable.”

Creamer concluded his presentation that we need solutions quickly on our highest priorities. These solutions will only come with effective collaboration where everyone understands that we all have a stake in the problems. Members of the State Board concurred that rising costs were unsustainable and that other agricultural commodities are facing the same dilemma.

The State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the Secretary of the California Department of Agriculture. Creamer was joined in the panel presentation by Roger Isom, President, and CEO of California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association and Western Agricultural Processors Association and Tricia Stever-Blattler, Executive Director of the Tulare County Farm Bureau.