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California Cut Flower Commission Gets Help in Competition with Imports

Agriculture Department's rural development grant powers overhaul of transportation network

In recent years, California’s cut flower and greens industry has experienced a steady decline in market share as a result of competition from imports. To help mitigate these losses, the California Cut Flower Commission has taken steps to revolutionize its transportation network. With help from a $150,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the Agriculture Department’s Rural Development Agency, the commission will soon begin educating growers and customers on its new model.

Glenda Humiston, the Agriculture Department’s Rural Development state director, recently presented CCFC executive director Kasey Cronquist with a certificate for the RBEG at a meeting in Ventura. 

“In today’s global marketplace, California’s growers understand that they need to stay on the cutting edge of innovation to stay competitive,” Humiston said. “These funds will help strengthen their ability to both improve quality and efficiencies that will benefit growers and consumers alike.”

The Rural Development RBEG funds are available to rural communities, nonprofit corporations and tribes for projects that strengthen the economic conditions of rural areas through business and job development and training. CCFC will use the funds to educate growers and customers on the benefits of the new model for shipping flowers. The training will include meeting with California growers and large flower buyers throughout the United States, as well as developing communication materials.

“I am pleased to receive this grant on the behalf of California Cut Flower Commission and all of our members,” Cronquist said. “Not only will this grant provide the cut flower farmers of California an opportunity to better understand their transportation options, but help us achieve our goal to deliver more California grown flowers to more people everywhere.”

The Agriculture Department’s Rural Development mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Click here for more information.

— Sarah Pursley is a spokeswoman for the Agriculture Department’s Rural Development Agency.

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