In Japan, California exporters are communicating with the market there and working with the Japanese import and retail trade with a goal of sending a better-quality cherry to the marketplace.
“We think by doing that, we can improve the cherry experience and the amount of cherries that are actually going to the market,” Zanobini said.
Zanobini said the California Cherry Board appears to be well received throughout the industry because it is tightly focused on specific activities.
“We’re not doing things that people would question,” he said. “We know exactly what we’re supposed to be working on, and we’re sticking to that.”
The board has tackled issues that the industry needs to work on together, he said, “not things that individual growers or companies would want to do or could effectively do on their own.”
The board is steering clear of promotions, he said, and is “very conscious” of how it spends grower-shippers’ dollars.
“The committees are industry led and industry populated, so the people who are paying are helping to make the decisions,” he said. “I think that’s the key.”
In 2013, the board was supported by assessments of 4.5 cents per box for growers and 4.5 cents for packers.
This year’s assessment will be determined by crop size, Zanobini said.