SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In today's fresh produce marketplace, California continues to set the standard for quality, safety, fairness and value, even in the midst of fierce worldwide competition. The Growers of California Cling Peaches are encouraging consumers to read labels to ensure their produce is from California or the USA, as many retailers – particularly in the canned peaches category – import low-cost products from foreign countries despite promoting "locally grown and sourced."
Consider these five facts:
1. California growers produce the safest and highest quality fruits and vegetables under the world's most stringent laws and regulations. For example, California peach growers must comply with over 70 different regulations in order to apply pesticides – regulations that do not exist in many of the foreign countries that export low-cost peaches to the US. As a result, the top export country has found that approximately one-fifth of its farmland is toxic, with unsafe levels of heavy metals including cadmium, nickel and arsenic.
2. California farmers pay their farmworkers some of the highest wages in the world, along with ensuring their training and safety are up to world class standards.
3. To reduce the impacts of climate change, California farmers have complied with regulatory directives like purchasing reduced-emission tractors and hauling fruit with reduced-emission trucks. But these efforts are negated when stores and restaurants purchase foreign-sourced peaches from thousands of miles away, where such regulatory directives do not exist.
4. California peach processors use cleaner-burning forklifts and more efficient boilers at their plants and ship products to customers using more fuel-efficient trucking fleets. Still, in 2018 a Central California peach processing plant employing 265 workers ceased operation due to increased foreign imports by retailers and restaurants.
5. California peach growers are working to find new ways to adapt to environmental and labor cost pressures in order to continue providing the safest, highest quality fruit. At the same time, growers are being encouraged to pull out more of their orchards due to the continuing rise in foreign imports. As a result, acreage of California Cling peaches is rapidly decreasing.
As a second-generation cling peach grower himself, Sarb Johl, Chairman of the California Cling Peach Board, knows first-hand the frustration his colleagues are feeling.
"We have a great story to tell here in California: a world class product, a committed workforce and cutting-edge innovation to bring it to market. We know consumers prefer California Clings, hands-down – when they can find them. We're just asking retailers to make that easier and asking shoppers to be diligent in reading labels."
Johl believes consumers would purchase California Cling peaches over foreign canned peaches if the two were similarly priced. "There's no question when it comes to quality, taste and safety: California wins," he said.
Shoppers have the added benefit of enjoying excellent nutrition year-round, since California Cling peaches in cans, jars and cups have the same or better nutrition than fresh. Canned and packaged California Clings contain less sugar per serving of fruit than other choices, and also deliver more nutrients for less money than fresh and frozen peaches. Details on the university studies can be accessed here: https://californiaclingpeaches.com/nutrition.
About the California Cling Peach Board
Founded in 1996, the California Cling Peach Board is a California State Marketing Order, issued in furtherance of the desire of California's Cling peach growers to create an environment that enhances the use of cling peaches through promotion, advertising, consumer education, production and marketing research, establishment of grades and standards, and compilation of industry statistics. California Cling Peaches are picked, packed and shipped at their peak of ripeness and available from your grocer year-round in cans, single-serve cups, and jars.
Citations and Related Links:
Research: Oregon State University Study
Nutritional content of fresh and canned peaches
Research: Michigan State University Study
Nutrition & Costs Comparisons of Select Canned, Frozen and Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
California Cling Peach Board:
SOURCE California Cling Peaches