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Citrus Marketing Orders and Farm Labor Stability

December 08, 1985

I am writing in response to "Growers Split Over Need to Control Flow" (Nov. 3) on citrus marketing orders. At last we see a balanced story that discusses both sides of a very complex issue.

I was especially pleased to see that Bruce Keppel reported an often forgotten fact--that marketing orders provide steady employment for thousands of Hispanic farm workers.

Without marketing orders, harvesting schedules would fluctuate. This means that labor demands would also vary, and farm workers could not rely on steady employment.

With marketing orders, specifically the prorate system, harvesting is continuous and demand for the work force is stabilized. This climate has also resulted in most citrus employers being able to provide such benefits as health insurance and pension plans.

Most citrus workers can give up the transient way of life and can become stable members of their community.

No matter what side of the citrus debate a person supports, the fact that marketing orders are vital to the stability of farm workers cannot be argued.



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