The California prune board (CPB) – representing California plum growers and packers – officially installed its 22-member and 16 alternate Board for 2022-2024. Following certification of the election by the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture, the new board approved plans and budget for the 2022/23 fiscal year at its board meeting in June. George Sousa Jr., president of Mariani Packing Co., Inc., Vacaville, California. was re-elected chairman of the California Prune Board, Mike Vereschagin, Vereschagin Farms, Orland, Calif. was elected vice-president. While Dan Bozzo, Triple B Ranch, Gridley, CA. and Rajeev Davit, Davit Ranches, Yuba City, CA. were re-elected, respectively secretary and treasurer.
“Our values as a Board of Directors drive us towards quality and continuous improvement and I am honored to continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors alongside people who share the common goal of creating a world more enthusiastic about California prunes,” said George Sousa Jr., president of Mariani Packing Co. “Our industry—like all agriculture today—has its own challenges, but CPB has been around for 70 years: we believe in the strength of our product and in the importance of a vital industry for generations to come” concludes George Souza Jr.
The newly inaugurated Council will remain in office until May 2024 and will focus on advancing CPB’s priority areas that have been determined by feedback from numerous industry and executive committee members. Areas of focus will include: nutrition research, trade policy and market support, industry unification, production research, expanding the global visibility of California prunes.
“California Prune growers and packers have shown resilience, strategy and discipline in producing a quality fruit that is enjoyed both in the domestic market and in export markets around the world,” confirms Donn Zea, executive director of the California Prune Board. “Together with our industry stakeholders, we are committed to helping operators and consumers discover the many wonders that California prunes have to offer – health and nutrition benefits, exceptional taste, superior quality, unparalleled versatility – and much more”, concludes Donn Zéa.
California is the largest producer of plums in the world, providing about 40% of the global supply and over 90% of the US supply. Today, there are over 36,000 acres of plum orchards in California that produce an average of 80,000 tons per year. Consistency in production, guided by rigorous agricultural standards, and superior taste keep demand for California prunes high in more than 60 countries, including Italy.
“The California Prune Board – explains Esther Ritson-Elliott, Director of International Marketing and Communications of the California Prune Board – invests in marketing and communication programs that promote awareness of the high quality, distinctive taste and nutritional value of prunes from California. both at European and international level. Italy is a key market for the CPB, which is also renewing its commitment to the Bel Paese for 2022-23. For operators in the sector, the Council will carry out projects digital marketing and co-marketing with brand ambassadors.For Italian consumers, PR campaigns, digital projects and product sampling activities will be carried out to promote both the high quality of prunes from California and their versatility: they are, in fact, an ingredient with excellent nutritional qualities for recipes created in collaboration ation with the best chefs and experts in Europe, as well as the Italian site of the CPB and the accounts of the members l (IG and FB) will constantly offer a wide selection of recipes with many indications on the use of California prunes in the savory and sweet dishes, showing all their versatility in the kitchen”.