Ag Today

California peach canners feeling sour over schools buying imported food

BY ROBERT RODRIGUEZ

rrodriguez@fresnobee.com April 19, 2018 03:08 PM

Is your kid eating canned peaches from China at school? If so, California peach farmers aren’t happy about it.

The state’s canned peach industry is behind an effort in Congress to tighten the rules for buying imported food for the federal school lunch program.

What they don’t like is U.S. schoolchildren eating imported foods at a time when farmers are being hit with rising trade tariffs and increased foreign competition.

“The fact that U.S. tax dollars are being spent overseas to benefit foreign farmers rather than support our country’s farmers, ranchers, ag workers and their families must end,” said Rich Hudgins, president of the California Canning Peach Association in Ceres.

The association and other agriculture groups are supporting Senate Bill 2641 by Sens. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Maria Cantwell, D-Washington. The bill would make it harder for school districts to buy imported food by making the public more aware of the practice.

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