The RBA has received disturbing reports that field representatives have been threatening RBA members that unless they withdraw from the RBA, they will not be able to deliver their fruit to certain packers and have made other false statements, all in an attempt to damage the RBA’s bargaining power and drive prices lower. Please immediately let the RBA know if you receive such threats or otherwise witness this kind of conduct. These tactics constitute an unfair trade practice under the California Food and Agricultural Code 54431, et seq., which specifically bars (1) interference or coercion against farmers in the exercise of their rights, (2) makes it unlawful to discriminate against any farmer on the basis of his or her membership in the RBA, and (3) makes it unlawful to provide any inducement or reward for breaching a farmer’s membership agreement with the RBA or ceasing to belong to the RBA. Further, such unlawful conduct would also make such field representatives and their employers liable for causes of action such as Intentional and Negligent Interference With Contract, Breach of Contract (the MOU with the RBA), a Breach of the Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Professions Code 17200, et seq.), and depending on the nature of the statements made; Fraud, Defamation and/or Trade Libel. Thus, it is of vital importance that you promptly let us know of any such unlawful conduct so that we can take prompt action. This year especially, we must maintain a unified effort in order to ensure the best possible price for our crop and stop all groups who wish to artificially decrease raisin prices.