In a letter to the editor published Feb. 8 (“Will California’s drought affect jobs at Pacific Coast Producers?”), Giovanny Anaya asked a thoughtful question of importance to many employees of Pacific Coast Producers and Lodi community members: “If the state were to begin rationing water, how would this affect Pacific Coast Producers?” Pacific Coast Producers would like to respond to that question.
While recent rains certainly help, continued drought conditions could result in reduced future crops. However, at this time, PCP anticipates a normal 2014 apricot and peach harvest, with tons to be processed similar to past years. The City of Lodi has indicated that they have adequate water supplies for our processing.
We want to assure the public that PCP and its grower owners are committed to sustainable crop production and processing. Since 2004, the PCP Lodi fruit processing facility has reduced annual water usage by 50 percent, while maintaining food safety and sanitation, through modernization of our processes. Our growers have also implemented water conserving irrigation practices. We all agree that using water wisely is necessary for the future of agriculture in this state.
We look forward to having all our seasonal employees return for a full production season this summer, and another successful year for our grower-owned cooperative. We believe that canned fruits represent an essential part of an economical and healthy diet, and urge consumers to visit their favorite grocer for some private-label canned fruit.
Mike Van Gundy
Pacific Coast Producers