The California Fresh Fruit Association Reveals its Top Ten Issues of 2021
FRESNO, CA - Collaboration is something that the fresh produce industry knows best. With the recent release of its 2021 Top Issues Survey results, the California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) is hoping that by combining efforts, progress can be made toward remedying these challenges in the coming year.
“The CFFA membership has provided staff a strong assessment of the issues that the industry will grapple with in 2021. As we saw in 2020, the California fresh fruit industry continues to be impacted by increasing regulatory requirements, labor and wage cost increases, and water availability, all while continuing to provide the nation and world with quality fresh produce,” said Ian LeMay, President. “CFFA will continue to act as the industry’s unified voice on these issues, and many more, in both Sacramento, California, and Washington, DC.”
LeMay went on to explain in a statement to AndNowUKnow that CFFA polls its members on 20–30 issues and then narrows the results down to a top ten list. While the issues remain pressing across the entire industry, the list is not ranked, as each challenge varies in importance depending on the sector or entity. Through the list, the association serves to show the diversity and complexity of each challenge being posed.
This year’s top ten list includes:
- Increasing Wage Costs (Base/Minimum Wages/Overtime Thresholds)
- Groundwater Management Requirements (SGMA)
- Federal Immigration Policies Addressing Current and Future Labor Forces
- Labor Regulatory Compliance
- Water Supply Availability and Curtailment
- Health Care Costs (Policy Costs/Paid Sick Leave)
- Immigration Enforcement (ICE)
- Federal and State Food Safety Compliance Requirements
- Plant Health Materials (Pesticides, Herbicides, Fungicides, Etc.)
- Workers’ Compensation Costs
In addition to the issues listed, COVID-19 is interwoven into each of the challenges. According to a press release from CFFA, due to the overarching nature of the pandemic, it will continue to influence all advocacy efforts of the association throughout 2021.
As the year progresses, LeMay stressed the importance of the collaborative work being done by all associations to solve these issues, as they are not unique to the California region, but can be seen across the industry as a whole.
While all of these challenges have been longstanding and do not include an easy resolution, CFFA hopes that, through the combined efforts of all associations, progress can be made to move incrementally forward on the issues and eventually find a solution.
As companies and associations across fresh produce continue to make strides toward resolving these withstanding challenges, AndNowUKnow will continue to report.