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74th Annual Meeting

President's Message

Wednesday, June 26th 2013

CFFA President,

Welcome to the California Fresh Fruit Association’s website. We hope you find the information here valuable and we encourage you to contact us with any suggestions or questions.

CGTFL President, Barry Bedwell

Last week the League held their 74th Annual Meeting in Carmel Valley. The meeting provided a wonderful opportunity for attendees to visit with new and old friends. In excess of two hundred members and guests enjoyed great fellowship and heard valuable information concerning labor law history as well as food safety traceability initiatives during two separate workshop sessions. 

The first session was moderated by the League’s lobbyist, George Soares of Kahn, Soares and Conway, and included Miriam Pawel, former Los Angeles Times writer and author of the book “Union of Their Dreams” ; Joseph Herman, attorney -at-law and one of the first negotiators involved with the Agricultural Labor Relations Act; and Bruce Obbink, former president of the California Table Grape Commission and table grape industry historian. The panel provided a rare look at the history of the farm labor movement in California based upon personal experiences and gave the audience an important perspective on what was learned from that time and how that information can be put to productive uses for both growers and farmworkers in the future.

The second session included detail from Tom Stenzel and Dan Vache of United Fresh Produce Association concerning the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) and how that voluntary program was progressing in light of increasing concerns as to its costs and effectiveness. Tom and Dan did an excellent job in explaining the intent of the program along with some blunt observations as to what challenges have come forward and how effectively they have been addressed. While certainly not glossing over the concerns, their message was clearly one of how and why traceability is valuable to growers and shippers and what must be done to assure a reasonable and productive program. 

In summary, I am happy to say that both workshops projected to members a message not about the frustrations of the past or what has gone amiss in the current process but rather how California growers and shippers can learn, be proactive and look ahead to find ways to make their businesses more profitable and therefore more sustainable. The sessions were an excellent example of how associations benefit their members. If you were not able to attend , we hope that you can do so in the future. You will not be disappointed. 

Thank you for visiting our site and we sincerely hope that you will visit again soon.