Local agriculture exporters feel ripple effects from supply chain delays

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Ripple effects from delays in the global supply chain are being felt by farmers in Kern County. Some are now proceeding with caution on how they do business to soften the economic blows to them.

It’s beginning to feel like a nightmare for farmers everywhere in the state.  That’s the nightmare of a fourth-generation farmer, Jason Gianelli. 

“It’s not just having an impact on this valley,” said Giannelli.  “It’s having an impact on the state and you’re seeing the ripple effects of that.”

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, California’s tree nut industry is the sole supplier of almonds, walnuts, and pistachios to the nation. This calculates to over $8.1 million dollars in exports that are at stake.

Fruits and nuts are California’s fifth-largest export trailing industrial and electrical machinery.
A historic drought plus kinks in the global supply chain are threatening future harvests.

“We’re seeing those Costs go up dramatically,” said Giannelli. “I’m already seeing a 60% increase in our cost in the last four, five months.”

Delays at the Port of LA mean necessary supplies are stuck at sea. Once offloaded, empty vessels are scurrying back across the Pacific leaving exports behind. Farmers are in desperate times so they must take desperate measures.

“We have to figure out if we want to sell all of our product right now,” said Giannelli.  “Or can we wait to sell everything, but at the same time it’s like can we get it out?”

Growers are left with the challenge of finding other exits for their exports. Ports in Oakland and other states are seeing a flow of these exports. But to get them there is the biggest hurdle.

“You can’t get them off to the right destinations, right off the ships,” said Giannelli.  “There is not enough [truckers] and where do you put them at?”

As far as looking ahead, it’s a ticking time bomb for those that tend to the land.

“Can we get fertilizer right now and can we store it right now?,” said Giannelli. “Because we don’t know what it’s going to be in three months from now, it can jump another 60%.”

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