Several industry members recently went to Sacramento to meet with legislators and regulators to discuss the challenges that California grape producers are facing. President and CEO for Allied Grape Growers, Jeff Bitter was among those who went to the Capitol to highlight the needs of the industry.
“Our main lobbying goals that day though were revolving around the reauthorization of the Pierce’s Disease Control Program (PDCP) and the self-assessment that growers have the ability to continue,” Bitter noted. “Which will allow us to continue to provide resources in terms of dollars for research of invasive pests and diseases that threaten our crops.”
Bitter mentioned a request for state funding to support the PDCP, to combine with industry-matched funds to continue research efforts. There were also several other concerns that were addressed during the trip. “Other issues that were talked about were farmworker housing, of course water, the continuing increase in wages,” said Bitter. “Very many issues that growers deal with on a daily basis in terms of just trying to survive as small businesses in California.”
Listen to the report below.