The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it has indefinitely revoked, as of October 1, 2014, the preferential treatment status Canadian shippers have enjoyed under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). The system, which allows Canadian exporters the same access to legal protections afforded to U.S. exporters, is a critical payment recovery tool for both U.S. and Canadian produce shippers who deal with highly perishable commodities. Without the preferred status, Canada is essentially treated the same as every other exporter who ships to the United States, an exceptionally big blow to the U.S.’s largest produce trading partner.

Matt McInerney

Want to make informed decisions about how renewable energy can help your farming or processing operation?  The Agricultural Energy Consumers Association (AECA) and the Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) are sponsoring a one-day conference on November 12 in Fresno to help you do just that.  The conference is designed to assist farmers and agriculture processors better understand the renewable energy options and benefits available to them.  Take a look at the Conference Flyer to learn more.

Western Growers

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has announced a second round of funding for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) that was authorized in SB 103, emergency drought legislation passed earlier this year. (Spotlight reported on CDFA’s first round of funding which was extended in a previous edition.) Up to $150,000 is available to applicants for water and energy conservation projects such as equipment to facilitate water saving measures and other quantifiable water distribution and greenhouse gas reduction management practices.

Gail Delihant

On October 9, 2014, Western Growers and Pinnacle Claims Management will host a health care reform webinar to get your company up to speed on the large employer pay or pay mandate which will go into effect on January 1, 2015. Along with providing you with the latest information about how to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and new guidance regarding mandatory IRS reporting requirements, WG will take the opportunity to launch Pinnacle’s NEW ACA Dashboard. 

Jonathan Alexander

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