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Pundit’s Mailbag —
Marketing Agreement Board
And The Future Marketing Order Board

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, February 27, 2007

We’ve run several pieces on the new California Marketing Agreement Board including California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Board, Marketing Make-up Causes Concern, Pundit’s Mailbag — More Questions About Leafy Greens Board and, most recently, Leafy Greens’ Board Should Disavow Marketing Effort. Now Bob Martin points out why the board seemed light on pure growers:

Growers were not to be considered for the Marketing Board unless they were considered “handlers” also. This is why the larger grower-shippers were given heavy considerations for these positions. As growers, we were told by Western Growers Association reps that the Marketing Order Board would consist of growers, and together they would work on issues such as the Good Agricultural Practices metrics living document.

It was to be a “living document” because as science progressed, the metrics could change to reflect any substantial findings. The Marketing Order Board positions are to be considered in the near future.

As far as the future of the two Boards, and their interactions, there was little information offered. These considerations are probably still on the table.

— Bob Martin
General Manager
Rio Farms
King City, California

The board is made up of many superstars from this portion of the industry, and now, with Joe Pezzini, Ocean Mist Farms, appointed as its Chairman; Eric Schwartz, Dole Fresh Vegetables, as its Vice Chairman; and an Executive Committee rounded out with Mitch Ardantz, Bonita Packing Company; Ryan Talley, Talley Farms; and Jack Vessey, Vessey and Company, there is little to reason to doubt that the board will move in the right direction.

One issue that Bob does bring up is the almost complete lack of clarification on what is going to happen as far as the Marketing Order goes. When, exactly, is this going to be formally proposed? When would it be scheduled to start?

At the hearing in Salinas, this was a substantial area of concern: Are people to pay two assessments — one to the Marketing Agreement and, another, the Marketing Order?

Is the Marketing Agreement to be dissolved when a Marketing Order takes effect?

There is no reason why these questions should be mysteries at this point in time.

Many thanks to Bob for his letter and congratulations to the new members of the Executive Committee. Much is riding on your wisdom.

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