YC prunes on the way to Poland
A Yuba City business will open shop in Poland.
Richard and John Taylor plan to use a loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corp. to build a prune processing facility.
The Taylors, who couldn't be reached for comment, will ship California-grown prunes to Poland, where they will be processed and sold on European markets, said OPIC President Robert Mosbacher Jr.
OPIC spokesman Timothy Harwood said the organization decided to fund the Taylors' project because it will benefit both California growers and Polish workers.
Grudziadz, where the plant will be located, has 105,000 people and a 30 percent unemplyment rate.
Military bases were slashed in the 1990s, putting much of the town out of work.
By giving U.S. prune growers access to European markets, the Taylors will make it possible to ship processed prunes to Europe in smaller than bulk-cargo quantities.
Poland is ripe for this sort of investment. By entering the European Union, Poland's tariffs for prune imports decreased.
OPIC gave the Taylors a $400,000 loan to help them open the 3,000-ton prune processing facility, which will produce diced, pitted and whole prunes, as well as prune paste.
Some of those prunes will come from the Taylor's own Yuba City-area farm. The final product will be packaged 10-kilogram boxes and meet international standards.
“This project demonstrates the capacity of U.S. small business to transfer technological capacity not only for the benefit of an emerging market and a Polish city, but also for the growth of an American industry, in this instance, prune farming,” Mosbacher said in a statement.