Corning Olive Industry Facing Foreign Market Competition

Tehama County’s emblematic olive orchards are disappearing at an alarming rate, and the Corning Observer says it has everything to do with foreign intrusion into the American olive industry. A number of growers have apparently been getting notices this month that their contracts with the processor Bell-Carter are being terminated. The company, which has an office in Corning, has sold 20% of its control to a Spanish olive co-op called Dcoop. The Observer says the partnership allows the importation from Spain of unfinished or uncured olives in order to avoid the tariffs imposed on imported black canned olives. The company says the volume and revenue at the Corning olive packing plant will increase, but that won’t be American-grown olives; it’ll be Spanish-grown olives imported in bulk and packed in Corning to bypass the tariffs. Bell-Carter acknowledges many of their partnerships with Tehama County growers go back three generations, but they claim the move is necessary to remain competitive.

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