August 13, 2014

The Buzz: California fruit producers seek more juice with name change

What’s in a name?

Grape and tree league puts ‘fresh fruit’ in its name

What’s in a name?

Plenty, if you’re lobbying on behalf of California’s fruit industry. After what its president said was “five years of discussion,” the California Grape and Tree Fruit League has changed its moniker to the California Fresh Fruit Association.

The group, after all, is known around the Capitol for delivering baskets of fresh fruit to lawmakers every year as its lobbyists weigh in on an array of issues, from water legislation to green chemistry.

In a message on the association’s website, president Barry Bedwell said the group needed to broaden its image beyond “fresh table grapes and deciduous tree fruit” to include a variety of commodities, such as pears, apples, figs, kiwis and blueberries. He said the original name, crafted 78 years ago, was often botched by others – “Tree and Grapefruit League” was one misnomer.

Besides, Bedwell added, the term “league” was outdated and often misunderstood in an era that associates leagues with sports. The original association was formed with the merger of the California Grape and Tree Fruit Association and the California Growers and Shippers Protective League.

Dan Smith

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