RAC/CRMB Weekly Update
To: All Members, Alternates, Packers, Staff, and Interested Industry Partners
Raisin Industry News and the Work of the Raisin Administrative Committee and the California Raisin Marketing Board, by Gary Schulz, President and General Manager
January 10, 2014
Deliveries to Handlers
For the period of December 29, 2013 - January 4, 2014:
2,132 tons of Natural (sun-dried) Seedless (NS) raisins were delivered to handlers.
2,855 tons of all varietal types were delivered.
3,692 tons of all varietal types were delivered for the same period last year.
275,908 tons of NS raisins have been delivered for the year-to-date. This compares to 257,785 tons of NS deliveries as of this date a year ago.
310,946 tons of all varietal types have been delivered ytd, compared to 289,102 tons in 2012-2013.
13,349 tons of the NS deliveries for 2013-14 crop year are organic.
32,958 tons of NS are held on memo storage.
6,423 tons of NS are held for reconditioning.
December 2013 Shipments
The December 2013 shipment report of Natural (sun-dried) Seedless (NS) Raisins shows that domestic shipments (including Canada) were 14,841 packed tons, compared to 13,465 tons in 2012 (+10%). Year-to-date domestic shipments are 80,134 packed tons compared to 78,578 tons at this time in 2012 (+2%).
NS export shipments (without Canada) for December 2013 were 12,396 packed tons, compared to 7,773 tons in 2012 (+59%). YTD export shipments are 55,469 packed tons, compared to 48,396 tons a year ago, an increase of 15%.
NS shipments to all destinations year-to-date are 135,603 packed tons, compared to 126,972 packed tons for last year (+7%).
USDA Announces Special Purchase of California Raisins!
A Special News Release from the Raisin Administrative Committee, Fresno, CA by Gary Schulz, President
WASHINGTON, January 6, 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture's intent to purchase up to $126.4 million worth of fruit and vegetable products, to be distributed to needy families under The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). The products to be purchased include tart cherries, processed apples, cranberries, fresh tomatoes, wild blueberries, and raisins. This purchase will expand efforts to provide high-quality, wholesome, domestically-produced foods to support low-income families in need of emergency food assistance.
"Food distribution programs are a vital part of our Nation's nutrition safety net, and today's food purchases will give communities additional means to help those in need," Vilsack said. "A comprehensive Farm Bill is absolutely critical to these efforts, and Congress should adequately support feeding programs for American families by passing a new Farm Bill as soon as possible."
Foods distributed through TEFAP are either purchased with funds appropriated specifically for TEFAP, or are procured through USDA's market support programs. The foods are provided to states for distribution to local agencies, such as food banks. These local agencies further distribute the food to organizations, such as food pantries and soup kitchens that provide communal meals or distribute foods directly to low-income families.
The purchase announced today is part of the surplus removal program, which allows USDA to purchase foods in order to help stabilize prices in agricultural commodity markets by balancing supply and demand, while providing healthy food to low-income households. Products purchased in the past year have included fruit, vegetables, catfish, lamb, turkey, and chicken. Surplus products are provided to TEFAP, as well as the National School Lunch Program, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, and other USDA nutrition assistance programs.
Nearly 90 healthy products - including canned fruits and vegetables, dried beans, grains and pasta products, milk, juice, and meat products – are provided through TEFAP to local soup kitchens, food pantries, and community action agencies across the country. A recent analysis found that TEFAP foods achieved a score 89 out of 100 on the Health Eating Index, a measure of diet quality based on the Federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
In Fiscal Year 2013, Congress appropriated $311.34 million for TEFAP – $265.75 million for food and $45.59 million for administrative support for States and local agencies. In addition to these funds, TEFAP receives surplus foods purchased through USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to support American agricultural markets. In FY 2013, 366.3 million pounds of food purchased for TEFAP through the congressional appropriation and another 270.8 million pounds of food through AMS surplus removal efforts. Surplus food purchases for TEFAP in FY 2013 totaled $228.51 million.
USDA provides food for TEFAP to states according to the number of unemployed persons and people living below the poverty level. States set the income standards for the program, and can adjust the eligibility criteria to ensure that assistance is provided only to those most in need.
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including TEFAP, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work together to form a national safety net against hunger. Visit www.fns.usda.gov for information about FNS and nutrition assistance programs.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).
RAC Update Editor’s Note:
Subsequent to receiving this press release from USDA-AMS, the Ag Marketing Service indicated to the Raisin Administrative Committee their intent to purchase $36.4 million of California Raisins.
The Raisin Industry Mourns the Passing of Ernie Bedrosian
As supplied by the Fresno County Farm Bureau:
On Jan. 1, Ernest Bedrosian, of Fowler, passed away.
Bedrosian was a leader in the Central Valley's raisin industry. He was credited with starting the industry's first bargaining association, the Raisin Bargaining Association, which was formed to help raisin farmers negotiate a price with the industry's packers.
Additionally, Bedrosian and his brothers, Krikor and Kenneth, founded National Raisin Company in 1969. Today, the company sells product under the Champion brand.
The viewing will take place on Friday, Jan. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Yost and Webb Funeral Home, 1002 T. St., Fresno. The funeral will be held Saturday, Jan. 11, at 11 a.m. at the First Armenian Presbyterian Church, 430 S. First St., Fresno.
Upcoming Industry Events
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium
January 28-30, 2014, Sacramento, CA
For information, go to www.unifiedsymposium.org
RAC-JDFIA/CRD Annual Meeting
March 18-20, Torrey Pines Resort, La Jolla, CA
For more information, contact Debbie Powell at Debbie@raisins.org
DFA of CA/Specialty Crop Trade Council Annual Meeting
April 1-3, Portola Hotel and Conference Center, Monterey, Ca
For information, go to www.agfoodsafety.org/conference/
Fresno Food Expo
July 24, 2014, Fresno, CA
Gary Schulz, President and General Manager
Raisin Administrative Committee