I know this is not a dairy thing, it is not even a cattle thing, but it is a thing.
Today I'm calling nurseries. I'm asking questions about clementine varieties, avocados, and other alternatives that are good crops for our area. I'm asking these questions so I can make a master plan to pull out all of our raisin acreage over the next 10 years. It's a sad thing; some of these vines were planted by my great grandfather, they've lasted a long time, they've been through a lot and it is no fault of their own that they are going to be replaced. No. That fault is the packers.
This week, the rumors started. They do it every year, the packers say that they are going to get together and pay bottom price for raisins. They say they are competing with Turkey or Iran and that they just can't pay more. So this year, I decided to do my own research. This is the USDA Raisins: World Markets and Trade report. Here's a fun fact, the USA consumed over 200,000 tons of raisins last year, the report doesn't say how much the USA imported last year, but the last named country on the report is Mexico importing 17,000 tons, so it must be less than that. That means that our California Raisins control over 90% of the second largest raisin consuming market in the world. It also means that since we as a country produced 340,000 tons last year, about 60% was bought at USA prices and shipped domestic. You can buy raisins here for $2.38 a lb, it's the generic brand, nothing fancy. That means they are selling for $4,760 a ton. They bought the raisins for $1500 a ton if you did not get quality bonuses of course the grower carried the USDA fee for inspection and paid for any recondition etc. but lets go with that. This leads me to my final statistic in this article before I get to my real point. Just the US sales last year for a raisin packer should have looked like this
Cost per ton $1500
Cost per ton to process $600
Gross Profit per ton $4,760
Net profit per ton $2,660
Tons Sold US 200,000
US Profit $532,000,000
Cost of all raisins left over $210,000,000
Net profit if they did not sell another raisin $322,000,000
Pretty easy math right? 2+2 = raisin growers are getting screwed over.http://www.ciapessoni.com/blog/2016/7/3 ... th-raisins