Thursday, March 29, 2007

Western Pistachio Association Committed to Filling Void Created by the Termination of the California Pistachio Commission
At its Annual Membership and Board of Directors Meeting in Monterey, California, the Western Pistachio Association’ s Board of Directors expressed its concern about the void in leadership created by the termination of the California Pistachio Commission. The Board solidified its commitment to help fill this void.
“The termination of the California Pistachio Commission was a disappointment for all of us,” said WPA Chairman Mike Woolf. “Despite our disappointment, we must focus our energies on moving this industry forward.”
WPA Board Member Corky Anderson stressed, “Given the amount of pistachios we have and the expected record crop coming this fall, we need to unite under the banner of WPA and start working to ensure that this industry is meeting the many challenges it faces.”
The Western Pistachio Association was originally formed as the California Pistachio Association in 1978. With the fonnation of the California Pistachio Commission in 1981, the California Pistachio Association ceased operations until it was restarted as the Western Pistachio Association in 1989. WPA was formed to support the efforts of the CPC and to undertake functions CPC was legally prohibited from performing — like lobbying and making contributions to federal candidates. For politica! purposes, WPA has also reached out to pistachio industry members outside of California and, now, has grower members from Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.
With the termination of the CPC, the WPA Board of Directors has been working to see how WPA can make the transition from CPC as seamless as possible. WPA has conunitted to continuing CPC’s highly successful govermnental affairs program, its production research, the popular annual meeting, the annual report, and market development efforts. WPA will continue its work on federal legislative efforts, managing the PistachioPAC, and hosting of the International Outlook Conferences.
“I am saddened by what happened with CPC,” said WPA Board Member and former CPC Chainnan Brian Blackwell. “Karen Reinecke and the entire staff at CPC have made this industry what it is today. There is no debating this point. Karen has been with this industry almost from the start, and under her guidance, the growers have prospered. The CPC will be missed. I am hopeful, however, that the reorganization of WPA will help us move away from some of the internal battles that have been paralyzing this industry and allow us to focus on the real issue — selling our ever increasing supply of pistachios.”
The independent processors have started to look at how best to transition CPC’s marketing programs, and the WPA Board has indicated a willingness to assist with the marketing programs ifit is decided to be in the best interest of the industry.
Contact:Western Pistachio AssociationPO Box 2395Washington, DC 20013-2395USATel: +1 202 266 3902Fax: +1 202 266 3922

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