The Pear Growers' Dilemma (film)
This documentary was developed as a tool of persuasion to help members of agricultural bargaining associations convince non-members of the risks of not backing their associations. It should be of interest to anyone who negotiates, and anyone who needs to persuade the hesitant to action.
The Pear Growers Dilemma tells the story of a particularly difficult negotiation faced by The California Pear Growers some years back, a process so trying it ultimately destroyed the association, along with millions of grower dollars. It even cost some growers their farms.
Through interviews with the key participants we learn about the rifts within the association that ultimately broke it apart, the strategy of the packer they were negotiating with, and the difficult years since.
The film wrestles with how the free-rider problem - long of interest to economists - can be dealt with in the real world. It makes plain how non-members actually contribute to structural risk, manufacturing a vulnerability that remains invisible until a tough negotiator leverages it. By that time, the tumult of events moves too fast for participants to adapt, and everyone gets hurt.
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The Pear Growers' Dilemma is the result of a cooperative partnership between
the USDA Risk Management Agency and the Prune Bargaining Association.
It was directed by Dave Westerholm of Persuasive Under Pressure.