Did you read the article a few months back about the US Government sending financial aid to Morocco to help boost their economy and increase olive production? Many California Olive growers were struggling to survive long before the economy turned upside down. We have to ask ourselves “why would our Government send aid to a foreign country that is one of our biggest competitors?”
How is it that our government did not realize we have a revenue stream from California Olives when according to the Western Farm Press, California boosts the economy by almost $500 Million ($500,000,000.00) and here are the facts:
- 3,555 jobs are created by ripe olive growers as a result of their business activities and spending in a variety of farming and non-farming sectors.
- Nearly $14.7 million in tax revenue and other business licenses and fees are generated from the economic activity created by ripe olive growers.
- California’s ripe olive growers have a significant impact on the state’s economy, yielding nearly $493.6 million in annual economic activity – or nearly $1.4 million dollars each day of the year.
They added that data came from sources such as the Census of Agriculture; U.S. Department of Agriculture; California Department of Food and Agriculture’s California Agricultural Production Statistics 2010-2011; and, University of California Cooperative Extension’s Sample Costs to Establish and Produce Table Olives. http://westernfarmpress.com/orchard-crops/ripe-olives-boost-california-economy-almost-500-million-yearly
Patrick Fine, who oversees such agreements as Millennium’s vice president of compact operations, said he does not believe that the investment in Morocco will harm California producers. Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/17/MNTA1KSF5N.DTL&ao=all#ixzz1uDLYkPI0 It sure wont help it now will it. If these poor rural communities have a crop they need a place to sell it, right? They will either sell it locally or export it. Either way it is bound to affect our local olive farmers and not in a positive way.
“I sympathize with the point of view of the California olive growers,” Fine said, adding that Millennium did research to determine whether the compact with Morocco would adversely affect growers here and found that California table olives were meeting only 50 percent of U.S. demand, and local olive oil only 2 percent. “We never want (Millennium’s) investments to compete with America.” Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/17/MNTA1KSF5N.DTL&ao=all#ixzz1uDMa8evw
So if California was only meeting 50% of the demand, why did we invest in a foreign country? Wouldn’t it have been better spent in California were we have strict rules, regulations and laws governing the production and processing? These same rules, regulations and laws to not apply to fruit and vegetables that are imported.
Maybe it is time we start trending back to buying US products, Local Products putting the wind back in the sails of our economy.