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Where agricultural marketing and policy collide


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  • How agricultural marketing of California commodities should have policy ramifications at state level


Much the same can be said of other popular California commodities with foreign buyers. As it turns out, California agricultural products have a very high standing among foreign buyers. I’ve heard similar stories during meetings of the American Pistachio Growers and the Almond Board of California.

The positive perception of California commodities is just one example of why California agriculture as a whole must be promoted at the policy level. Politicians need to pick their policy stances on what is in the best interest of California agriculture because of the far-reaching impacts our agricultural production has across the globe.

That’s why water availability is so critical to the state’s economy. Growers aren’t just planting something because it looks good in their fields; there is a very real commercial and economic value to what growers plant, and that can be seen all the way from the seed provider and equipment dealer to the union dockworker preparing goods for shipment on container ships at the Port of Oakland and all points in between. They all benefit from a vibrant agricultural economy.

California olives is currently working towards that goal as well. At the recent Sacramento Valley Olive Day in Corning, growers were told of the competition they face from European olive producers in terms of olive oil production. According to Paul Vossen, a farm advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension office in Sonoma County, 97 percent of the olive oil we consume in the United States is imported. Vossen calls that a significant opportunity for the California olive industry given our ability to efficiently produce high-value, in-demand crops.

Popular celebrity chefs with a bias for California-grown fruits and vegetables are not just a grand marketing opportunity for those particular commodities, but a great opportunity to highlight the value California agriculture is to the state’s culture and its economy.


Follow me on Twitter @ToddFitchette reach me at


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