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Volume 7, Issue 3  -  July, 2001

California Raisin Growers Form New Association

California raisin growers have formed the California Raisin Reform Association. It is a non-profit association of raisin growers that have come together for the purpose of insuring fiscal integrity, grower equity and fairness in the operation of the raisin marketing order by the Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC). Specifically, because of the ongoing turmoil within the raisin industry, the dissention and debate occasioned by disagreements with positions taken by the RAC regarding pricing, free tonnage, and the recommended percentage of the reserve raisins, coupled with the conflict of interest existing between the producers and packers.

They are petitioning that the RAC and the Federal Raisin Marketing order be modified:

Priority 1 - Reform the Board of Director of RAC.

Priority 2 - Creation of a California raisin trademark, establishment and enforcement of country of origin labeling, and establishment of a One-Price-System.

Future Priorities - A full accounting and clarification of all raisin deductions, the establishment of government Purchase programs from the reserve poll (schools, armed forces, food for peach programs, etc.) and the establishment of a 100 ton exemption within the Marketing Order for any grower who has the ability to market directly (farmersí markets and consumer direct sales.

The cost to produce raisins is $2,145 an acre and the average yield is 2 tons per acre. The price received per ton for the crop year 2000 is $408.62 plus whatever bonuses an individual farmer earned for grade, moisture, hauling or ownership of bins.

Compare the cost per acre of $2145 to return per acre of $817 and it becomes evident that raisin producers cannot continue to operate under these conditions.

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