JULY 2016

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RBA MEMBERS: BRING AN INDEPENDENT GROWER TO LUNCH

Industry Update & New Membership Luncheon

The Board of Directors of the Raisin Bargaining Association encourage all members to attend and bring their independent raisin growing neighbors to an informational lunch meeting about the current California raisin situation and why they should join the Association.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

10:00AM – 2:30PM

Golden Palace Banquet Facility

2625 West Vassar Avenue (just off Hwy 99 and Clinton Avenue)

Fresno, CA 93705

AGENDA

  1. Welcome
  2. Industry overview
  3. Contracts & State piece-rate situation
  4. Lunch
  5. Labor workshop

An industry overview will be presented by RBA CEO Glen Goto. Important issues for RBA and independent growers to know before signing a 2016 individual delivery contract with their packer and an update on state piece-rate pay will be topics for RBA General Counsel Thomas Campagne. Lunch will be followed by a labor workshop for growers presented by the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. The workshop will focus on the Migrant Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Topics will include safe transportation of migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, piece-rate pay requirements, waiting-time, a review of the federal investigative process, and best practices for raisin growers to follow with their workforce.

Please RSVP to the RBA office at (559) 221-1925.

RAISIN & WINE GRAPE MECHANICAL HARVEST SAFETY TRAINING

The Raisin Bargaining Association is a co-sponsor for the 2016 Raisin & Wine Grape Mechanical Harvest Safety Training session scheduled for:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

C.P.D.E.S. Hall in Easton

8:00AM          Registration

8:30AM          Training (English and Spanish)

Save the date for this important (and free) training for the upcoming harvest season.

CRMB PRESS RELEASE

The following good news recently was released by the California Raisin Marketing Board:

BOGHOSIAN AND CDFA REACH AGREEMENT

REGARDING CALIFORNIA RAISIN MARKETING BOARD

After many years of litigation between Boghosian Raisin Packing Company and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the California Raisin Marketing Board (CRMB) is pleased to announce an amicable resolution has been reached among all parties who believe that time and money spent on effective promotions and research is far more beneficial to the industry than continued litigation.

California growers and packers produce, process, and market the highest quality raisin products under the most stringent food safety regulations in the world today. All parties feel that continued litigation only impedes the industry’s ability to market and promote the world’s leading dried fruit, California Raisins.

Judge Raymond Cadei of the Superior Court in Sacramento will be ruling on the original arguments raised against the California Raisin Marketing Board in the near future. Meanwhile, California raisin producers approved continuation of the Marketing Order for California Raisins in a referendum completed earlier this year. Of the 1,583 growers participating in the referendum, 88.44 percent favored continuing the operations of the Marketing Order. Based on the results of the referendum, the CRMB has been authorized to operate for another five years through July 31, 2021. We are hopeful the CRMB will soon be actively promoting the highest quality and safest dried-grapes in the world, California Raisins.

RAISIN ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE NEWS

As of the week of June 25, 2016 growers have delivered 333,750 tons of Natural Seedless raisins with 970 tons in Memorandum Storage and another 5,582 tons held for reconditioning. The industry crop estimate was 326,000 tons in October.

Shipments for the 10-month period ending in May 2016 are 7% below the same period one year ago. Domestic movement is down 3% and export markets are reporting a 14% reduction from the previous year’s shipments. Export movement has been challenging with the strength of U.S. currency making California raisins even more expensive for international buyers to buy in comparison to alternative dried-grape sources in Turkey, Iran, and China, to name a few.

RAC Chairman Monte Schutz recently led a delegation to Washington D.C. with the purpose of selling California raisins to the USDA for the many feeding programs they sponsor. The “Bonus Buy” program is an important USDA tool to assist commodities in reducing excess inventory situations. The California raisin industry received a $33.5M purchase of Natural Seedless raisins in October 2015. The delegation made a strong case for additional purchases through the “Bonus Buy” program in spite of the recent purchase and should be hearing the response from USDA in a few months.