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Bob Larson Raspberry Buyer Pt 3
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: July 12, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. After a major raspberry buyer reduced its share of this year’s crop by 70%, growers are working on ways to make them more competitive and rescue their livelihood.

Washington Red Raspberry Commission director Henry Bierlink says marketing is one way to attack the problem …

BIERLINK … “We do have a consumer campaign and it’s one of our strategies to kind of help people kind of connect the fact that if you want good labor laws and food safety laws and environmental laws, which I believe we all do, there is a cost to that. And, if we also want agriculture in this country, there’s going to have to be some changes some how because you can’t have it all without paying the price.”

Bierlink says some growers are throwing up their hands and converting to blueberries …

BIERLINK … “There’s no guarantee that we’ll always have raspberries in this area, but I’m a little bit more optimistic than that, I’m not sure why sometimes if I look at the numbers, but I think things usually work out somehow or another.”

And, Bierlink says he’s hopeful progress will be made in trade talks …

BIERLINK … “We have looked into some fair-trade laws ourselves. Again, that we have done some of those anti-dumping in the past and we’ve looked at that and some other things, but none of them are easy and none of them are cheap and there’s no guarantees to many of them either so we’re kind of watching opportunities and talking to officials about them as well.”

Bierlink says they’ll keep looking for answers and other opportunities, but there are no guarantees.

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