GROWER INFORMATION

from the office

 


11/8/2018
3:34 P.M.

GRAPE, NUT,& TREE FRUIT EXPO

“Don’t miss the Annual Grape,Nut, & Tree Fruit Expo coming to the Big Fresno Fairgrounds on November 13th, where Kalem Bareserian and Harry Overly will be presenting the current State of the Raisin Industry Address. All growers and stakeholders are encouraged to attend this FREE event, generously sponsored by Sun-Maid Growers,RBA, and National Raisin Company, among other industry-related companies” (American Vineyard)

Details

Date:November 13 Time:7:00 AM - 2:00 PM Cost:Free

Organizer

Malcolm Media • Ag Publishing

Phone:559-298-6020Email:editor@malcolmmedia.com


11/02/2018 11:54 A.M.

PAYMENT TERMS FOR 2018 MOU

(Please reference section 3 below)

 
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10/29/2018
10:10 A.M.

ATTENTION CALIFORNIA RAISIN INDUSTRY


2018 Natural Seedless Price


On October 19, 2018 the RBA and it's eleven signatory packers reached agreement on the 2018 natural seedless crop for one year at $ 2,150/ton. All eleven packers have finally opt-in on the one year MOU.


We at the RBA wished to thank all eleven signatory packers who negotiated in good faith to establish the 2018 crop price.


Boghosian Raisin Packing Company, Inc.

Caruthers Raisin Packing Company, Inc.

Central California Packing Company

Chooljian Brothers Packing Company, Inc.

Del Rey Packing Company

Fresno Cooperative Raisin Growers, Inc.

Lion Raisins

National Raisin Company

River Ranch Raisins, LLC

Sun Valley Raisins, Inc.

Victor Packing Company



10/19/2018 12:40 p.m.

ATTENTION RBA GROWERS

2018 NATURAL SEEDLESS PRICING CONCLUSION

Your RBA Board of Directors has concluded final negotiations with our eleven Signatory Packers for the 2018 natural seedless crop year. The final Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is offered to all eleven packers at $2,150/ton for the 2018 crop.

Those packers that agreed to a 2-year program at $2,150/ton can accept the 1-year MOU, or can opt to stay with their 2-year program. Those packers who choose to stay with the 2-year program can surely use it as a means of soliciting growers for both the 2018 & 2019 crop years.

The Zante currant price has been established at $2,500/ton for the 2018 crop.

The RBA Board of Directors wishes to thank all our Signatory Packers for negotiating in good faith to establish the highest price in California Raisin Industry history.

We have enclosed (below) some very important charts for your review which aided the Board in establishing this year’s price

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10/18/2018 10:30 A.M.

ATTENTION RBA GROWERS

Fresno Cooperative Raisin Growers. Inc has agreed to terms and conditions for the 2018 natural seedless raisin crop, an announced price of $ 2,150.00 per ton under our two year agreement.

They have also agreed to the 2018 Zante Current price of $2,500/Ton. Thank you Jimmy Gee, RBA truly thanks you!

 

10/16/2018
10:40 A.M.




Two more signatory raisin packers have agreed to the 2018 Zante Currant price of $2,500.00/ Ton. Thank you, Victor Packing Company and Chooljian Brothers Packing Company Inc. Sun Valley Raisins Inc. has already agreed.

RBA truly thanks all of you!


10/8/2018 10:35 a.m.

PRICING UPDATE

 

Your RBA Board of Directors have offered to sell your 2018 Natural Seedless Raisin Crop for $2,250.00 per ton.  Also the Board has offered to sell both the 2018 & 2019 crops for $2,150.00 per ton.  This 2-year Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.) at $2,150.00 per ton has safeguards in it for the second year in case there are changes that could force the price to go higher or lower, with a lower bottom not to fall below $2,000.00 per ton.

 

Last year we had 12 signatory packers agree to our M.O.U. negotiated at $1,800.00 per ton.  This year we have been instructed that Sun Maid has rejected both the $2,250.00 one year contract and the $2,150.00 two year contract.  They have also advised us to try and move the 2,000 tons of RBA growers to other packers, which we are in the process of doing.

 

Of the remaining 11 packers, 6 have agreed to accept the $2,150.00 2-year plan.  Those six packers are Central California Packing Company, Chooljian Brothers Packing Company, Inc., Del Rey Packing Company, National Raisin Company, River Ranch Raisins, LLC., and Sun Valley Raisins, Inc.

 

The 5 remaining packers who have rejected both the one year price at $2,250.00 per ton and the $2,150.00 per ton two year M.O.U. are: Boghosian Raisin Packing Company, Inc., Caruthers Raisin Packing Company, Inc., Fresno Cooperative Raisin Growers, Inc., Lion Raisins, and Victor Packing Company.

 

In our discussion with the packers who have not agreed to M.O.U. terms, their arguments were that the $2,250.00 price was too high and the $2,150.00 price was acceptable but not for 2 years.  Discussions will continue until Friday, October 12, 2018.  For updates please go to our website at www.RaisinBargainingAssociation.com and click on the “From the Office” tab. 

 

10/05/2018 11:46 a.m.

ATTENTION RBA GROWERS

A Board of Directors Meeting was held last night and The Board voted to accept a 2-year, $2,150/ton contract offer from Central California Packing Company and National Raisin Company. The Board voted to extend this offer to all Packers and also have a 1-year option available at $2,250/ton.

Packers have until next Friday (October 12th) at 5:00 p.m. to accept or reject the offer. Stay tuned for further updates as they become available.


 

9/25/2018 11:27 a.m.

WEATHER ALERT

The RBA wants to alert all growers that rain is currently in the forecast on Monday and Tuesday (10/1 & 10/2).

https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/USCA0406:1:US


 

9/20/2018 9:40 a.m.

ATTENTION RBA GROWERS


Please see the following letter from CEO Kalem Barserian:



Dear RBA Signatory Packers,


The RBA Board of Directors met last night and unanimously voted to re-offer our original price of $2,250/ton until 5:00pm on October 3rd, 2018.

All counter offers were discussed and rejected due to the level of pricing offered. For those who have only rejected the $2,250/ton offer without a counter, we will still entertain a counter offer. Those of you who did counter, although the Board rejected your offer we still welcome additional counter offers.

For the four Signatory Packers that did accept our offer, you are free to take any raisins you have on Memorandum Storage and place them in free tonnage. Those that did not accept our price must place all RBA raisins in Memorandum Storage.

We are also offering the RBA Zante Currant tonnage at $2,500/ton and have received three acceptances to date.


Please feel free to call me and discuss our position on this year's pricing.


Sincerely,



Kalem Barserian

CEO




9/18/18 2:28 p.m.

ATTENTION RBA GROWERS

This afternoon raisin processors Chooljian Brothers Packing Company, Inc. of Sanger and Del Rey Packing Company of Del Rey were the third and fourth RBA Signatory Packers to agree to terms and conditions for the 2018 natural seedless raisin crop at an announced price of $2,250/ton.

The RBA would like to thank Michael Chooljian, Chad Chooljian, and Gerald Chooljian for their prompt responses to our offer. We would also like to thank RBA Board Chairman Dwayne Cardoza for assisting in closing the contracts with Chooljian Brothers and Del Rey Packing.

We will keep our growers updated as additional Packers respond to our pending offer.

 

9/18/18 8:11 a.m.

ATTENTION RBA GROWERS

This morning raisin processor River Ranch Raisins, LLC. of Kerman was the second RBA Signatory Packer to agree to terms and conditions for the 2018 natural seedless raisin crop at an announced price of $2,250/ton.

The RBA would like to thank Troy Gillespie and River Ranch Raisins for their prompt response to our offer.

We will keep our growers updated as additional Packers respond to our pending offer.


 

9/14/2018 1:46 p.m.

ATTENTION RBA GROWERS

This afternoon raisin processor Sun Valley Raisins, Inc. of Fresno was the first RBA Signatory Packer to agree to terms and conditions for the 2018 natural seedless raisin crop at an announced price of $2,250/ton. In addition, Sun Valley Raisins has agreed to contract the zante currant crop at an announced price of $2,500/ton.

Thank you to RBA Board of Directors Dwayne Cardoza and Jerry Rai for assisting in closing the contract with Sun Valley Raisins.

We will continue to update our growers as additional packers respond to our offer. Thank you.

 

9/11/2018 2:53 p.m.

RBA MAKES OFFER TO 12 SIGNATORY PACKERS FOR 2018 CROP PRICE

The RBA has made the following offer to all RBA Signatory Packers for the 2018-19’ crop. We will update our growers with any news.

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8/28/2018                                                                                                                                                                              2:31 P.M.

RBA BIN PURCHASE PROGRAM NOW CLOSED FOR 2018

Many growers took advantage of our Bin Program this year.  At this time the program is now closed until further notice.  Thanks for your participation and we will update you if/when the program opens again.  


 

8/27/2018                                                                                                                                                                              2:35 P.M. 

ATTENTION RBA GROWERS

Below for your reference is a copy of the letter previously posted on our website on 5/23/18 from LindaKay Abdulian of National Raisin Co.  The RBA would like to commend National for coming out so early to floor the 2018 crop price.  The RBA is currently under negotiations with all packers and is working on setting an RBA 2018 price and we will continue to update our growers with any additional information. 

As a reminder, we would like to alert our growers that if an RBA Signatory Packer is offering other terms and conditions in addition to the RBA terms, HAVE THE PACKER LIST THOSE TERMS IN WRITING UNDER THE "OTHER CONSIDERATIONS" SECTION OF YOUR INDIVIDUAL AGREEMENT.  Getting the other considerations in writing will help you as growers in the event of a dispute. 

As always the RBA is working hard on our growers' behalf to negotiate terms.  Call Kalem Barserian at 559-221-1925 with any questions. 

(copy of the previously posted National Raisin Co. Letter dated 5/23/18)

 

OPEN LETTER TO THE RBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Letter from LindaKay Abdulian - National Raisin Company

I make it a point daily to talk with a variety of raisin growers throughout the San Joaquin Valley in an effort to gain their perspective on what would make them feel comfortable with keeping their vines in the ground.  You learn a lot when you talk with a raisin grower, not only will they freely tell you their perception of our industry, you get a good sense of their financial situation, attitude regarding agriculture in the Central Valley and California in general.  Growers want a fair price, "plus some" for their crops, they want to be paid 100% for delivered passing fruit, they want to be paid in a timely manner and they are searching for stability in the raisin industry. 

I would always end our conversation...asking...besides a fair price (which is important)...what leadership did they want to see come from National?  The number one comment was...National needs to set a two year floor price, this action would bring the much needed stability and direction that is lacking in the raisin industry.  Growers overwhelming view these past years the price spikes...ups and downs...unfavorably. 

This year National has begun the dialogue offering growers a $2,000 per ton minimum price for both 2018 and 2019 crop years.  This is not the final price but a floor meaning that if the industry and RBA's 2018 crop price is established at $2,100 per ton then National will pay its growers $2,100 per ton.  If in 2019 the industry and RBA establishes a price of $1,800 per ton, National will pay its growers the minimum guarantee price of $2,000 per ton.  A grower must sign a two year contract with National to receive the guarantee minimum price, in addition when a grower signs up for the two year contract they will receive a signing bonus.  National has kept all the moisture, maturity, container rental, transportation, RAC assessments, USDA inspection fees, amounts and formula tables unedited...same as last year.  Please note, if any modifications, additions or deletions regarding industry assessments are approved, National will adjust its schedules accordingly. 

My hope is that the 2018 crop year price will be established sometime early to mid-September and that it will be inclusive of all market factors: the domestic balance of supply and demand, the world supply of raisins, imports, the strength of the US currency and the strength and security of the California raisin grower.  Balance and perspective is key.  I am available for any questions please feel free to call me at anytime. 

LindaKay Abdulian - President and CEO of National Raisin Company

 

8/14/2018                                                                                                                                                                              11:12 a.m.

2018 Raisin Grape Crop is Looking Good!

(Picture courtesy of rba grower kirby jackson)

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8/01/2018                                                                                                                                                                              2:59 p.m. 

ACTION ALERT: 

tell secretary Perdue at USDA and Congress that your family deserves help.

Last week USDA announced it would be providing $12 billion in assistance to agriculture farmers and ranchers negatively impacted by escalating trade disputes.  The press release outlined three ways to assist.

  • The Market Facilitation Program, authorized under The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and administered by Farm Service Agency (FSA), will provide direct payments incrementally to producers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, and hogs. This support will help farmers manage disrupted markets at home and abroad.

 

  • Additionally, USDA will use CCC Charter Act and other authorities to implement a Food Purchase and Distribution Program through the Agricultural Marketing Service to purchase unexpected surplus of affected commodities such as fruits, nuts, rice, legumes, beef, pork and milk for distribution to food banks and other nutrition programs.

 

  • Finally, the CCC will use its Charter Act authority for a Trade Promotion Program administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in conjunction with the private sector to assist in developing new export markets for our farm products.

Our industry needs to ACT and tell Secretary Perdue at USDA and our congressional leaders THIS WEEK while they are home in their district that raisins deserve to be included in the Food Purchase and Distribution Program along with the Trade Promotion Program.

ACTION NEEDED:

Please CALL Secretary Perdue at USDA and your congressman's district office. 

  • Tell them your family NEEDS to be included in the $12 billion assistance program due to the volatile international trading climate and its potential to negatively effect the raisin export market. We must be proactive in our efforts to keep our industry stable and our families' way of life intact, all while we continue to feed the domestic and world population.

CONTACT the secretary and your congressman today!

USDA:

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue (Washington DC Office): 202-720-3631

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

Jeff Denham (R) - (Modesto): 209-579-5458  (Washington DC) 202-225-4540

David Valadao (R) - (Hanford): 559-582-5526  (Bakersfield) 661-864-7736  (Washington DC) 202-225-4540

Devin Nunes (R) - (Visalia): 559-323-5528  (Clovis) 559-733-3861  (Washington DC) 202-225-2523

Kevin McCarthy (R) - (Bakersfield): 661-327-3611  (Washington DC) 202-225-2915


 

7/20/2018                                                                                                                                                                              3:21 p.m. 

DEL REY PACKING COMPANY

LETTER TO GROWERS

(Enlarged as much as possible for viewing)

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7/9/18                                                                                                                                                                            10:50 a.m.

USED BINS & FARM EQUIPMENT FOR SALE

RBA Member David Lehman has roughly 150 used bins for sale in addition to farm equipment.  Anyone interested should call him directly at 559-349-4444. 

 

07/03/2018                                                                                                                                                                             11:07 a.m.

U.S. Department of Labor News Release

U.S. Department of Labor - April 10, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Secures Judgments to Enhance Farmworker Transportation Safety in California's Central Valley

Actions Spurred by Fatal 2015 Crash Involving Grower's Farm Labor Contractor

Fresno, CA - After a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation, Central Valley garlic grower Valley Garlic, Inc. and its farm labor contractor X-Treme Ag Labor, Inc. have signed consent judgments, entered by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Fresno.  The U.S. Department of Labor sued Valley Garlic Inc. and X-Treme Ag Labor Inc. for being jointly responsible in a June 2015 crash that took the lives of four farmworkers who were being transported to work, including a 16-year-old minor.

X-Treme Ag Labor, Inc., and its owner, Isabella Camacho entered into a consent judgment requiring them to pay $46,000 in back wages and penalties, and to be forever barred from acting as a farm labor contractor.  In the judgment, X-Treme Ag and Camacho also admitted to violating MSPA's transportation safety requirements and that they did so in connection with their work for Valley Garlic.

The consent judgment against Valley Garlic, Inc. requires the company to take steps to prevent future violations and unauthorized transportation including:

  • Exclusively hiring farm labor contractors that are transportation-authorized and that can legally and safely transport farmworkers

  • Specifically discussing transportation in contract deliberations with farm labor contractors

  • Auditing their fields for compliance with federal labor laws at random times during peak harvest

  • Paying $45,900 in civil penalties

Division investigators determined that the workers were not wearing seatbelts, the driver had no valid driver's license, and the vehicle was unsafe.  The Department brought suit under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Work Protection Act (MSPA), which requires growers and packers to take specific steps to ensure that all farmworkers are transported safely to their fields. 

"These two judgments send a message that will result in safer transportation to and from the fields for hundreds of hardworking men and women", said Nora Pedraza, Wage and Hour Division Assistant District Director in Fresno.  "The Department of Labor offers a wide variety of compliance assistance and educational opportunities for employers to learn how to comply with the law.  We owe it to the memory of these farmworkers to do whatever we can to prevent any future such tragedies."

MSPA protects migrant and seasonal agricultural workers by establishing employment standards related to wages, housing, transportation, disclosures, and recordkeeping.  For general information on MSPA, please see the Employment Law Guide or the Wage and Hour Division's MSPA Fact Sheet.

To operate legally as a farm labor contractor, individuals and companies must register with the U.S. Department of Labor.  Farm labor contractors that intend to house, transport, or drive a migrant or seasonal agricultural worker must meet special requirements.  Application materials and instructions can be found online at https://www.dol.gov/whd/forms/fts_wh530.htm

Employees and employers with questions about MSPA or any of the federal laws administered by the Division should call the agency's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (866-487-9243).  All calls are confidential.  More information is also available online at http://www.dol.gov/whd/

Media Contacts:

Leo Kay - 415-625-2630 - kay.leo.f@dol.gov

Jose Carnevali - 415-625-2631 - carnevali.jose@dol.gov

Release Number: 18-477-SAN

Leo Kay                                                                                                                                                                                    Regional Public Affairs Director                                                                                                                                                Department of Labor San Francisco Office                                                                                                                              415-625-2630                                                                                                                                                                      415-828-8896 (cell)                                                                                                                                                         

 

6/19/2018                                                                                                                                                                               9:30 a.m.


LION RAISINS GROWER LETTER

Letter from Kirby Jackson - Lion Raisins Grower Relations

Dear Grower,

We have another season coming up soon.  For now everyone should be aware of the powdery mildew threat until the first week of July.

I am sure that  you are aware of the small size of our 2017 crop.  This small crop along with an average size crop this year is sure to bring a minimum price of $2,200.00/ton for raisins, $325.00 delivered to winery and around $335.00 delivered for dehydrator grapes.  Taking all this into consideration, higher prices and all, most raisin packers will want to pay their growers with as many as 3 to 4 delayed increments.  Just to let everyone know, Lion will pay one payment 100% to our growers.  If you have any friends looking for fast payment, please call me, we will be taking on new growers to replace pulled vineyards.

Another subject you should be aware of.  There are four RBA signatory packers reprocessing import raisins for certain domestic end users.  The concern is if our domestic market becomes too comfortable with these foreign raisins, it could cause a surplus in our domestic market causing a drop in field price for our California raisins.  I suggest you contact your RBA director in your area and voice your concern, so they might consider putting some pressure on this behavior by these packers.  Lion Raisins does not approve of this marketing behavior being practiced by certain packers since we are also growers ourselves and are concerned for the future of our industry.

Please contact me anytime if I can answer any of your questions or be of any help to you during the season.

Kirby Jackson - Grower Relations - Lion Raisins


5/23/2018                                                                                                                                                                               6:36 P.M.

OPEN LETTER TO THE RBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Letter from LindaKay Abdulian - National Raisin Company

I make it a point daily to talk with a variety of raisin growers throughout the San Joaquin Valley in an effort to gain their perspective on what would make them feel comfortable with keeping their vines in the ground.  You learn a lot when you talk with a raisin grower, not only will they freely tell you their perception of our industry, you get a good sense of their financial situation, attitude regarding agriculture in the Central Valley and California in general.  Growers want a fair price, "plus some" for their crops, they want to be paid 100% for delivered passing fruit, they want to be paid in a timely manner and they are searching for stability in the raisin industry. 

I would always end our conversation...asking...besides a fair price (which is important)...what leadership did they want to see come from National?  The number one comment was...National needs to set a two year floor price, this action would bring the much needed stability and direction that is lacking in the raisin industry.  Growers overwhelming view these past years the price spikes...ups and downs...unfavorably. 

This year National has begun the dialogue offering growers a $2,000 per ton minimum price for both 2018 and 2019 crop years.  This is not the final price but a floor meaning that if the industry and RBA's 2018 crop price is established at $2,100 per ton then National will pay its growers $2,100 per ton.  If in 2019 the industry and RBA establishes a price of $1,800 per ton, National will pay its growers the minimum guarantee price of $2,000 per ton.  A grower must sign a two year contract with National to receive the guarantee minimum price, in addition when a grower signs up for the two year contract they will receive a signing bonus.  National has kept all the moisture, maturity, container rental, transportation, RAC assessments, USDA inspection fees, amounts and formula tables unedited...same as last year.  Please note, if any modifications, additions or deletions regarding industry assessments are approved, National will adjust its schedules accordingly. 

My hope is that the 2018 crop year price will be established sometime early to mid-September and that it will be inclusive of all market factors: the domestic balance of supply and demand, the world supply of raisins, imports, the strength of the US currency and the strength and security of the California raisin grower.  Balance and perspective is key.  I am available for any questions please feel free to call me at anytime. 

LindaKay Abdulian - President and CEO of National Raisin Company

 


4/20/2018                                                                                                                                                                               9:23 A.M.

RBA BIN PROGRAM IS NOW OPEN

Any RBA Grower interested in purchasing bins through the RBA Bin Program can contact Cheryl at the RBA Office (559-221-1925) for more information. 

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4/5/2018
12:27 P.M.

PAST & PRESENT LEADERSHIP - DO YOU REMEMBER THESE FACES?

Kalem.jpg

4/5/2018
9:15 A.M.

UPDATE ON RAISIN CROP DELIVERIES

When we issued the RBA “Press Release” dated October 12, 2018 it was still uncertain on how many tons of Natural Seedless Raisins would be made. As of March 31, 2018 195,078 tons had been delivered and passed incoming inspection by the USDA. There are 19,272 tons held for reconditioning, which at best will recover 80%. We now believe the crop deliveries will be 220,000 tons plus or minus 10,000 tons. For more information; contact Kalem Barserian at (559)-221-1925

 

 


3/20/18
11:30 A.M.

RBA chairman encourages cooperation among growers and packers

Raisin growers and packers urged to find areas of cooperation, more unity.

 Charanjit Batth, left, a Caruthers grower, with the Dancing Raisin and attorney Tom Campagne at the 51st annual meeting of the Raisin Bargaining Association.

Charanjit Batth, left, a Caruthers grower, with the Dancing Raisin and attorney Tom Campagne at the 51st annual meeting of the Raisin Bargaining Association.


 

Dennis Pollock 1 | Mar 14, 2018

In a rare gesture aimed at fostering unity, Raisin Bargaining Association Chairman Dwayne Cardoza welcomed representatives of several packers to the 51st annual meeting and recommended better cooperation between packers and growers.

“We need to get this community back together,” said Cardoza to the conference, which represents 1,500 grower members.

He acknowledged that packers, through the years, were often at odds with the organization.

In a question and answer session, packer Dennis Housepian, president of Caruthers Raisin Packing Co. Inc., said, “This industry has to pull in the same direction.”

Cardoza asked all the packers in the room to stand. “Those are the guys that write the checks,” he said as they stood. “These are our guys.”

At 80, Kalem Barserian, general manager and CEO of the RBA, is no stranger to the challenges of arriving at a field price in negotiations between packers and growers.

Barserian worked on the processing side with various packers for 30 years. He also headed the RBA from 1969 to 1987, and the organization sought him out a year ago to step into a stalemate on pricing for the 2016 crop.

Record Price Expected

At the Fresno meeting, both Barserian and Cardoza predicted that this year’s crop could command a price that will top the previous record of $1,900 per ton in 2012.

The 2017 crop price was set at $1,800, well above the 2016 price of $1,100, blamed on a 20 percent uptick in world production.

In a press release, Barserian said, “Despite this price being the second highest in history, there will be no winners.”

He pointed out that the 2017 crop had one of the lowest grape bunch counts in history. A severe heat wave burned green bunches on the vine, destroying 5 percent of the crop. And two rain storms brought millions of dollars in losses.

In his opening remarks at the RBA meeting, Barserian pointed out that per capita consumption of raisins has declined since 1967, the year the RBA was started. It dropped by 33 percent, from 1.33 pounds to 1.16 pounds today.

The California industry has gone from 50 percent of world production to 20 percent.

“But there are opportunities,” Barserian said. “We’re starting over again, just like we did in 1967.”

The number of growers has shrunk from 4,000 to 1,800. Acreage went from 280,000 at its peak to 155,000. Last year alone, some 10,000 acres of grape vines were pulled out of the ground.

 Some raisin growers hold other jobs, and many have diversified. To sustain themselves, some have turned some of their acreage into nut crops.

From 2010 to 2016, average production was 328,000 tons. “We’re still in a surplus situation,” Barserian said.

Short Crop

But he projects 2017’s crop will be no more than 230,000 tons, the shortest crop since 1982 when production stood at 205,000 tons.The RBA membership is down from 2,200.

“We were producing the same amount of tonnage 51 years ago that we are producing this year and probably will produce for the next five years, maybe even 10 years; I see it as under 250,000 tons,” Barserian said.When Barserian first got into the industry, half the raisin variety grapes were going to wineries. In 1967, wineries crushed 615,000 tons. This year they crushed 94,000 tons.

Among bright spots in the industry’s history is the export relationship with Japan, where raisins are used as a cooking ingredient rather than a snack. The industry has fostered Japanese development of new product uses, and Japanese imports of California raisins have more than doubled since 1967. Barserian said he would like to work with Fresno State University’s culinary program to establish a faculty position and foster other product development efforts. But he said that “will be a while coming.”

Cardoza and Barserian talked of efforts to find more dried-on-the-vine varieties that could open the door to increased mechanization during pruning and harvesting. The industry is working with International Food Genetics in Delano on that effort.

The RBA membership is aging. The average age is in the 60s.

Cardoza, 65, hopes to give his 29-year-old son, Steven, more of a leadership role.

He emphasized to members that they should look for ways to bring younger people into the industry, perhaps through leasing agreements and in other ways.

Cardoza also praised the attitude of younger people when it comes to responding to the Food Safety Modernization Act. “Yes, it’s bureaucratic,” he said. “But young people are saying, ‘How can we benefit from it?’ We’re doing something (other nations) are not doing.”


1/25/2018
9:00 A.M.

ATTENTION RBA GROWERS

If you have or know of any raisin growers who have used bins and wish to sell them, please contact the RBA office.
(559) 221-1925


11/7/17
3:00 P.M.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
(MOU)

 

1) This MOU concerns the 2017 harvest season only.

2) Regarding the 2017 Natural Seedless Raisin Harvest:

The announced RBA field price per free ton on delivered 2017 Natural Seedless Raisins will be $.90 per pound or $1,800.00 per ton. Price includes the following payments of:

Base price                                                      $1,604.00                         $.8020

Moisture @ 10%                                                    80.00                          .0400

Maturity @ 75 %                                                   50.00                          .0250

Container rental                                                    21.00                          .0105

Transportation (minimum)                                   15.00                          .0075

RAC Assessment                                                     17.00                          .0085

USDA Inspection                                                   13.00                          .0065

2017 Announced RBA Field Price                  $ 1,800.00                       $.9000


10/17/17
3:42 P.M.

 the year was 1985

                             Pictured below from left to right; Kalem Barserian, Bruce Lion, and Ernest Bedrosian. 

kalem and bruce.jpg

The year was 1985 and the three were in Asia selling California Raisins. Today the Asia nations are our most reliable customers with Japan consuming 64 million pounds and holding a 90% share of all dried grape consumption.


10/17/17
2:07 P.M.


ATTENTION: RBA ZANTE CURRANT RAISIN GROWERS

The RBA management is pleased to announce that a majority of the Signatory Raisin Processors have agreed to an "Announced Price" of 95 cents per pound for the 2017 crop of Zante Currants. Even though this price is only the third highest in history, the Zante production was normal. Also the beginning inventory (8/1/17) was 1,666 tons versus 3,093 tons shipped into all markets last year, we believe they are balanced. If you have any questions please call the RBA office (559)-221-1925


10/13/17
10:18 A.M.

PRESS RELEASE


10/11/17
4:57 P.M.

THANK YOU NATIONAL RAISIN CO.

National Raisin Company has agreed to the RBA's Announced Price of 90 cents per pound for the 2017 crop. We wish to thank the Management team at National who has been a mainstay in the California Raisin Industry for so many years and who has provided crucial leadership on pricing to our valuable customers worldwide.

With probably the shortest raisin crop since 1982, the challenge is to market this crop and get ready, when growing conditions return to normal in 2018.

Once again, the RBA extends thanks to National Raisin Company for agreeing to the field price of 90 cents per pound.


10/10/17
10:22 A.M.

THANK YOU SUN-MAID & BARRY KRIEBEL:

Sun-Maid Growers of California have agreed to the RBA's Memorandum of Understand (MOU) at the 2017 announced RBA Field Price of 90 cents per pound. I wish to thank the Sun-Maid Board and their President Barry Kriebel for the support they have given RBA over the past 30 years. Barry has announced his upcoming retirement and we wish him the best of health and happiness. 
Sincerely,

Kalem Barserian,CEO


10/9/17
3:52 P.M.

THANK YOU CENTRAL CA:

Even though Central California Packing Company had given me their verbal commitment over the weekend, accepting the RBA's Announced price of 90 cents per pound, now it's official. Thank you Central Ca. in helping to get the marketing year started.


10/8/17
3:04 P.M.

RBA RAISIN GROWERS:

Today is Sunday, October 8, 2017. Two of the largest California Raisin Processors, Lion Raisins and Sun Valley Raisin Company have agreed to RBA’s terms and conditions calling for an Announced price of 90 cents per pound. Just one year ago the Industry was in a conciliation setting and it took to March 7, 2017 to finally bottom the bankrupt price of 55 cents per pound to the grower and a huge loss to the Processors when their inventory fell from 80 cents to the low of 55 cents. Again thank you Lion and Sun Valley for helping get the marketing of the 2017 crop started in October. Thus allowing the crop not to be placed in Memo Storage and growers to get cash in their pocket on completion of delivery. Call Kalem at the RBA office if you have any questions.


10/6/17
7:00 P.M.

ATTENTION:

Thank you Fresno Cooperative Raisin Growers, Inc. for being Signatory Packer #7 to sign the RBA MOU terms and conditions at 90 cents per pound!


10/6/17
12:15 P.M.

ATTENTION:

This morning Caruthers Raisin Packing, Inc. became the 6th signatory packer to agree to the terms and conditions of the RBA's MOU set at 90 cents a pound. Dwayne Cardoza, Chairman of the RBA, and 1st Vice President Jerry Rai assisted staff in the conclusions of these negotiations. So far six processors have agreed to the terms and conditions of 90 cents per pound, and four additional processors have verbally committed to the 90 cent price.

 


10/6/17
9:30 A.M.

Attention:

This morning two more Signatory Packers have agreed to our Announced price of 90 cents per pound.  River Ranch Raisins, LLC and Chooljian Brothers Packing Company, Inc. So far that brings five Processors who have agreed to the Announced price of 90 cents per pound and another five who have given us a verbal commitment.


10/5/17  
3:11 P.M.

ATTENTION RBA RAISIN GROWERS:

Our third signatory packer just agreed to our announced price of 90 cents per pound. Boghosian Raisin Packing Company just notified me that he has also signed our 2017 MOU. Any questions please call Kalem at (559) 779-9578 or the RBA office. (559) 221-1925


10/5/17  
3:00 P.M.  

Attention RBA Raisin Growers:

Our second Signatory Processor Del Rey Packing Co. has also agreed to terms and conditions for the 2017 crop at the announced price of 90 cents per pound. RBA Board of Director and First Vice President Jerry Rai was also instrumental in closing the contract with Del Rey.


"Also I left out of my first announcement on Victor that E.G. Huter is our second vice president. Those Board of Directors that are assisting management on the calls we are making helps more than anyone can imagine."

-Kalem Barserian 

 


10/5/17
11:00 A.M.

Attention rba Raisin Growers:

     Yesterday Raisin Processor Victor Packing of Madera was the first RBA Signatory packer to agree to terms and conditions for the 2017 crop at an announced price of 90 cents per pound. RBA Board of Director E.G. Huter was instrumental in closing the contract with Victor. Thank you all for getting this done.