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Bob Larson Fair Trade Berries Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: March 07, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Berry growers from our state lead the nation in production for the frozen market, but for how long is the big question as competition with foreign markets threatens their very existence.

Third generation berry farmer Marty Maberry is part of Whatcom Family Farmers which sent a letter recently to various members of Congress to point out this growing disparity in wages and regulations …

MABERRY … “We just wanted to let our legislators know that agriculture doesn’t, well rarely speaks with one voice, but we’re not all on the same wavelength on these. We’re all in the same business, we produce food, but we all have separate commodities and to bring attention that the labor-intensive crops are getting significantly damaged by foreign imports. So, that initial letter was for that reason, to basically say before you try and speak for all of agriculture, you might want to check with agriculture in total, not just a few commodities.”

Maberry says there are significant trade differences that need to be addressed before it’s too late …

MABERRY … “Well, the biggest problem that our commodity is running into, and a lot of other ones are too, are the massive uptick in foreign imports from, in our case, multiple countries not just Mexico; Chile, China, Peru, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland. It’s happening really, really quickly.”

Listen tomorrow for more on this and other growing trade challenges, what local berry growers need, and what’s at stake.

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