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Research Proposal on the Impact of Transportation

2. One hypothesis will be tested in relation to research question two. This hypothesis is as follows: The market share of air transportation in the shipment of fresh California strawberries to markets 1,000 miles or more distant from the industry's production areas and storage facilities in California will deteriorate 25 percent over the 1995-2004 period.

A preliminary review of the literature relevant to the problem to be investigated is presented in this section. Literature is reviewed in relation to production, technology, transportation, labor, and free trade.

Strawberry production in California in 1982 exceeded 534 million pounds (Bureau of the Census, 1988, p. 395). By 1987, production of strawberries in California had grown to more than 725 million pounds. By 1993, production exceeded one billion pounds of strawberries in California (McLain, 1994, p. B1). California growers hold an 80 percent market share of the fresh strawberry market in North America (McClure, 1992, pp. 23, 102).

A major technological innovation contributing to the growth of the strawberry industry in California was the development of a genetically-altered bacteria designed to retard the formation of frost on the fruit (Crawford, 1987, p. 511). Although the use of this biotechnology was opposed by consumer activists, the challenge was dismissed by a California superior court.

Improved storage technologies also have contributed to the ability of the industry to operate on a year-around basis (Pszczola, 1994, pp. 128-130). The ability to supply fresh berries on a 12-month basis has proved to be a boon for the California strawberry industry.

The air transportation industry traditionally has held a major market share in the transportation of perishable agricultural products to distant markets (Illingsworth, 1992, pp. 6B-7B). The introduction of controlled atmosphere containers for use in the surface shipping of perishable agricultural products, h...

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