The 40th Annual Meeting of the members of Corona College Heights Orange & Lemon Association (CCH) was held at the Associations packing facility located 8000 Lincoln Avenue in Riverside, California.
A luncheon was provided and attendance was about 240 people.
After the luncheon, Vice Chairman Don Freeberg extended a welcome to all and introduced former Pulitzer Prize Winning New York Times Columnist William Safire as the special guest speaker. Mr. Safire gave a speech entitled, Whats Going to happen in Washington- and in the World. The speech was followed by about a ten minute question and answer session. Mr. Safire was well received by the audience.
Vice Chairman Freeberg, after thanking Mr. Safire, introduced President Demshki for the Presidents Report.
President Demshki then presented his report to the membership, giving his overview of 2004 and things to look for in 2005. Included in the Annual Handout given to the growers was a utilization report for the last two years. Additional comments made, were as follows:
President Demshki stressed that although 2004 was a very good year, the important thing is to look forward. Fresh fruit sales were at $65M, which is an increase of $19M from the previous year. An additional 933K cartons were sold with 7% less fruit. This was the result of staying focused and planning activity. Investments for the year totaled $600K and were comprised of replacement bins, a Sunkist packing line, and improvements to the lemon wash line. CCH carries no debt. Our strategy is to develop the market so that our growers continue to invest with us.
President Demshki reported that sales to club stores were successful with grapefruit and lemons. Approximately 43% of lemon sales were overseas. Lemon utilization is now improved from 62% to over 80%. This is a result of field, pack and sales working together. For 2005, we will see increased competition on exports such as Mexican lemons.
Navels are being processed and we are using the CCGA process to determine the market. This is the second year CCH has participated. Valencia market did not have enough good fruit. Prices were driven by food service and Australia. CCH expects better returns this year and will monitor this to know the best times to market them. High juice prices are expected due to the Florida hurricanes.
President Demshki reported that grapefruit has enjoyed two good years in a row. We commit early to our customers and develop a steady base. It is estimated that over 1M trees were ruined in Florida from the hurricanes. CCH had an excellent star season with chem free and conventional in Japan back to normal.
President Demshki says the goal is to figure out what we did right and do it again. He then thanked the growers, CCH employees and the Board for their efforts.
Vice Chairman Freeberg announced the 2003-2004 patronage dividend to be $2,164,044.This represented about a 34% return on grower equity in the cooperative. This is the second highest amount returned in our history.
Next, Vice Chairman Freeberg called the business meeting to order at 1:45 P.M.
Secretary Jaspan announced she would place the Notice of the Meeting into the record.
Secretary Jaspan reported that 297 votes were present in person. The Secretary declared a quorum was present and the meeting was competent to conduct business.
Vice Chairman Freeberg called for a motion to approve the Presidents report and to place it on file. So moved by Ben Hillebrecht, seconded by Tim Azaret, and unanimously carried.
Vice Chairman Freeberg called for a motion to approve and place on file the minutes of the Annual Meeting of December 12, 2003. So moved by Al Stehly, seconded by Tim Azaret, and unanimously carried.
The Vice Chairman called on a report from the Nominating Committee. Mr. Allen Hardison of the Nominating Committee placed the names of the following in nomination and they are as follows:
Charles W. Colladay
Charles E. Badger
Donald A. Freeberg
Laverne M. Duker
David C. Roberts
Albert T. Stehly
There were no nominations from the floor. Moved by Allen Hardison, seconded by Eugene Howard, to close the nominations and instruct the Secretary to cast a unanimous ballot. Unanimously Carried.
Vice Chairman Freeberg called for old business or new business. There was none.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned by Vice Chairman Freeberg at 1:55 P.M.
Don Freeberg, Vice Chairman
Susan Jaspan, Secretary