California Table Grape Commission Receives Funds from USDA Agricultural Trade Promotion
- by Maggie Mead
FRESNO, CA - To mitigate the damage done to U.S. agricultural products by tariffs imposed by several countries, the California Table Grape Commission (CTGC) has been awarded over $2.85 million in relief funds as part of the USDA Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program. The program has awarded over $200 million so far to organizations throughout the country, including 17 in California. The CTGC ranked third in total dollars allocated out of the 17 California-based ATP recipients.
“The commission will use the funds to increase promotion activities in key export markets in 2019,” said Kathleen Nave, CTGC President, in a press release. “The 53 percent tariff imposed on California grapes by China made the 2018 season a difficult one for growers; the latest data from USDA indicates that shipments to China, the third highest volume market for California table grapes, were down more than 50 percent. Exports to other Asian markets were down as well. Sales in the domestic market were hurt because competing commodities also lost sales in China due to tariffs and needed to sell the fruit domestically. It was a very, very difficult year.”
Most of the funds will be used for consumer advertising—something the commission does not usually have the ability to fund in export markets, according to Nave. The allocated money will be used throughout the 2019 California table grape season, which starts in May and runs through January 2020.
“The focus in export markets in 2019 will be on regaining market share,” commented Nave.
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