Market conditions for lemons have been trending in a positive direction in recent years. However, there are still come obstacles for California producers to reap the benefits of increased demand. Professor of Public Policy at UC Riverside, Bruce Babcock said that labor has been particularly troublesome for domestic producers.
“The overall demand for lemons is growing in the United States, which is a good sign, a bright sign for the citrus industry. But at the same time, we’re seeing at least part of that growing demand being met by imported lemons, primarily from Argentina,” Babcock noted. “As labor costs in California increase, that’s just another cost of production that has to be covered by a good price for lemons in order just for lemon producers to keep breaking even or trying to make some money. So higher labor cost definitely is a disadvantage.”
Listen to the radio report below.