The 25th Annual Citrus Showcase was hosted by California Citrus Mutual (CCM) at the Visalia Convention Center on March 8. The event brought the California citrus industry together to engage with one another and hear important information on some of the major industry concerns such as water, regulations and invasive pests.
The showcase initially began as a small barbeque at the Exeter Memorial Building and has expanded over the years to “have well over a thousand growers walking through the exhibit hall, meeting with vendors, networking with each other,” said CCM President Joel Nelsen. “It’s just a wonderful day, three good workshops and it couldn’t be any better than that.”
One of the workshops featured information from the California Department of Food and Agriculture regarding the Food Safety Modernization Act and the auditing process. “Hopefully it gets us out of a multitude of audits that are duplicate of each other and can reduce our costs. So, we’re going to be endorsing that,” Nelsen stated.
Water was another important topic of discussion in one of the Citrus Showcase workshops, as the State Water Commission recently caused a delay in the development of several potential water projects including Temperance Flat and Sites Reservoir. “It’s extremely frustrating,” Nelsen said about the decision that none of the proposals submitted were eligible for funding.
The water commission claimed that none of the proposed projects met the requirements of “public benefit” that were established in the water bond. “It’s a warped definition of ‘public benefit’ coming out of Sacramento right now,” said Nelsen. “This has got to change. We passed Prop. 1 six years ago based upon storage. A deal is a deal.”
Listen to Nelsen’s interview below.