6th October 2020
California Prune Board Announces New Chairman
The California Prune Board has announced the election of George Sousa Jr. as Board Chair. George Sousa, Jr., who is President of Mariani Packing Co., Inc, says of his appointment: “My family has been in the California prune business since 1906 when the Silicon Valley was covered in prune orchards. The leadership of the California Prune Board has never been more strategic and focused as it is today, and I’m looking forward to stepping into this role.
“California Prune growers and processors – like all involved with California agriculture – have experienced a lot of transition over the past few years and the prune business has certainly been impacted. My fellow officers and board members are committed to working together to sustain the future of our industry.”
Certified by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the California Prune Board (CPB) has also appointed a new Vice Chair and re-elected its Secretary and Treasurer for the 2020-2022 term. The board elections come on the heels of a successful public hearing earlier this year that authorised the CPB to continue for another five years, without the need for an industry referendum.
Donn Zea, Executive Director of the California Prune Board, says: “The California Prune industry – like the premium fruit we produce – has shown a lot of resiliency. We have very dedicated leadership and we’re grateful to welcome new talents and perspectives as we continue our work in leading the world in premium prune production.”
The board will focus on advancing the key CPB priority areas that have been determined with input from numerous industry members and the executive committee, including nutrition research, trade policy and market support, industry unification, production research and global visibility expansion for California Prunes.
Donn adds: “Our priorities are clear, and our new board is at-the-ready to unite growers and processors to drive research and promotions that support the California Prune industry. As we look ahead and stay agile in a changing environment, we are optimistic about creating a world that is enthusiastic about California Prunes.”
California is the world’s largest producer of prunes providing about 40 percent of the world’s supply and more than 90% of the U.S. supply. Today, there are more than 40,000 bearing acres of California Prune orchards concentrated in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.
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