California Olive Ranch President Gregg Kelley says, "Conferences like this allow us to get re-invigorated and take a look at the opportunities that exist and we have a very good future ahead of us."
More than 50 people attended the trade agreement forum hosted by Congressman Wally Herger at the Elks Lodge in Chico. He says the purpose of the meeting was to educate local farmers and business owners about trading opportunities and the importance exporting has on a community as a whole. "For every one dollar of trade, there's five dollars extra in all the different people that are working, helping and supporting.. So it's a tremendous multiplier," says Herger.
The forum also included local companies export success stories. One of the high-lighted speakers, California Olive Ranch CEO Gregg Kelley. Kelley says, "About 95-percent of the world's population and consumption is occurring beyond our shores.. So as the world globalizes and our economies intertwine, it's important for domestic businesses to seize those opportunities."
And like Kelley, most local growers have done just that. Rice, prunes, almonds and walnuts are among the largest exports in Northern California. "They just 10 years ago they were exporting 40-percent of their products, today they are exporting 60-percent of their products," says Herger.
And Herger says the importance of increasing trade for Northern California goes beyond just benefiting business. He says, "Our economy is hurting all over the nation, hurting in Northern California and this is the way to get our economy going again."