MARCH 2016

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TWELVE SIGNATORY PACKERS AGREE WITH 2015 NATURAL SEEDLESS PRICE & TERMS

The following twelve RBA signatory packers have agreed to follow the price and payment terms of the 2015 Natural Seedless MOU:

American Raisin Packers

Fresno Cooperative Raisin Growers

Boghosian Raisin Packing

Lion Raisins

Caruthers Raisin Packing

River Ranch Raisins

Central California Packing

Sun-Maid Growers of California

Chooljian Brothers Packing

Sun Valley Raisins

Del Rey Packing

Victor Packing

GROWER PAYMENTS

The packers signed to our MOU have agreed to pay growers 65% on delivery and another 20% on or before February 28, 2016. Growers should be paid $1,224 per ton (based on announced field price of $1,600 per ton) for all their deliveries ($1,600 per ton X 90% X 85% = $1,224 per ton) as of now.

ZANTE CURRANT FIELD PRICE

The 2015 Announced Field Price for Zante Currant raisins has been established at $1,600 per ton. Payment terms and conditions remain the same as in the past year. We understand the cost of production is high and continues to increase annually. However, the world supply of this specialty ingredient is more than ample due to an excess inventory of Greek Currants which has significantly impacted the international marketplace. Strong dollar and weak foreign currency have contributed to the difficulty in exporting this product as well. The price adjustment should assist in reaching a better inventory balance for the future.

NATIONAL RAISIN COMPANY

The RBA has been ordered to conciliation (further bargaining) by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) in our current dispute with National Raisin Company regarding the 2015 Natural Seedless MOU. Until this process is completed, the Association is unable to move any raisins that have been delivered to their facility. We have been given records of our member deliveries and a tour of the facility assuring us the fruit is being held in Memorandum Storage. They have indicated that they are making delivery advances to RBA members upon request. Call National Raisin at (559) 834-5981 if you have not received a delivery advance yet and are in need of one. Please call our office also, if we have not already been in touch with you.

RAISIN ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE (RAC) REFERENDUM

The USDA has sent ballots to California raisin growers regarding two proposed changes to the Federal Marketing Order. Both proposals are meant to improve administration of the RAC by providing regulation which allows the committee to fund the program with only handler assessments (and no reserve raisin funds) in a more efficient manner.

The first proposal would allow the RAC to borrow funds from a commercial lending institution in the event handler assessments were unavailable to meet cash flow requirements.

The second proposal would allow the RAC to establish a monetary reserve fund of no greater than one year’s operational budgeted expenses as averaged over the past six years.

Your RBA Board of Directors determined it to be in the best interest of the membership and California Raisin industry to support these recommended changes to the Federal Marketing Order for California Raisins. They have notified the USDA their intention to bloc vote on behalf of the Association. USDA has sent ballots to all California Raisin growers of record for the 2014-15 harvest. RBA members are not required to return ballots.

CALIFORNIA RAISIN MARKETING BOARD (CRMB) CONTINUATION REFERENDUM

The California Department of Food and Agriculture will be conducting a referendum to determine whether the CRMB will continue in operation for another five years. Soon you will be receiving a ballot from the State.

 

Once again the RBA Board of Directors has determined it to be in the best interest of the membership and California Raisin industry to support the continuation of the CRMB for another five years. It is not necessary for RBA members to return their ballots for this vote.

 

The CRMB has not collected grower assessments since the Superior Court ruled against its formation. The State has since won an appeal of that decision and the case has been returned to the Superior Court to rule on the other issues of contention. The RBA Board of Directors felt it was very important to keep the CRMB in operation until the Superior Court rulings were reached.

RBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

District 1 Sanger        Doug Benik, Willy Ludtke

District 2 Kerman       E.G. Huter III, Elmer Huter, Jr, Nick Leontieff

District 3 Biola            Edward Fanucchi, David Shamp

District 4 Fresno         Greg Markarian

District 6 Easton         Dwayne Cardoza, Glenn Martin

District 7 Fowler          Bob Brar, Michael Kazarian

District 8 Del Rey        Mitch Sangha

District 9 Parlier          Wayne Albrecht

District 11 Kingsburg  Paul Aslan

District 12 Selma         Jerry Rai, Harvey Singh

District 13 Monmouth  Kuldip Chatha

District 14 Caruthers    Gagan Batth

District 16 Tulare/Kern  Michael Mikaelian, Jeff Noorigian

District 18 Madera        Jeff Bitter, Jerry Logoluso

The annual meeting of the RBA Board of Directors was held recently. The following five new directors were welcomed to the Board: Jeff Bitter of Madera, Elmer Huter, Jr. of Kerman, Jaspal Mahil of Caruthers, Glenn Martin of Easton, and David Shamp of Biola. Recognized for their years of service to the Board were outgoing members Jerry Lung of Biola, Michael Perry of Kerman, and Ken Shinkawa of Caruthers.

2016-17 RBA Officers

Monte Schutz – Chairman

Gagan Batth – 1st Vice Chairman

Jerry Rai – 2nd Vice Chairman

Dwayne Cardoza – 3rd Vice Chairman

Edward Fanucchi – Secretary

Jerry Logoluso – Treasurer

RAISIN BARGAINING ASSOCIATION SIGNS ARE AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS WISHING TO DISPLAY THEIR CONTINUED SUPPORT. PLEASE CONTACT THE RBA OFFICE (559) 221-1925 FOR DETAILS.