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California Table Grape Commission calls officials to enhance competitiveness

February 16 , 2024

The California Table Grape Commission is providing USDA with input on ways to enhance competitiveness through formal comments as well as testimony provided at the CDFA state board hearing which opened the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California.  

The testimony was offered by the commission’s incoming President Ian LeMay and provided recommendations focused on enhancing competitiveness in the U.S. marketplace, expanding exports, extending USDA food purchases for those in need, supporting research initiatives, and encouraging the adoption of new technologies.

“Competitiveness has long been a commission priority,” said LeMay. “We hope that the state board  sees value in the recommendations and includes them in its feedback to USDA.”  

According to LeMay, the purpose of the testimony before the state board was to encourage the inclusion of table grape grower priorities in the comments that CDFA will make to USDA on behalf of the state’s specialty crop growers.

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Noting the need to sell more U.S. grown products to U.S. consumers, the recommendations include the establishment of a domestic promotion program modeled after the successful Market Access Program (MAP). 

The new program would allow grower organizations to apply for and match funds to promote in the  U.S.; the biggest market in the world and one that is critical to the survival of table grape growers. 

Regarding exports, the commission urges support for a doubling of MAP funding in the next Farm Bill. 

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