California Prunes have a history of more than 150 years.

After its initial development, the industry first organized under the Dried Fruit Association of California in 1908. The association oversaw sales contracts, transportation, pure food laws and legislation. As the industry grew it needed an organization specifically focused on California Prunes. Thus, the State Marketing Order for California Prunes was established in January 1952 and the California Prune Board has been operating continuously ever since.

overlooking prunes on drying racks

Our Mission

Created in 1952, the California Prune Board aims to amplify the premium positioning and top-of-mind awareness of California Prunes. The California Prune Board represents approximately 800 prune growers and 28 prune, juice, and ingredient handlers to support and protect the health, growth, and integrity of the California Prune industry. This is facilitated by the following activities:

  • Generic Promotion — Communicate differentiated benefits and encourage large-scale acceptance of California Prunes. This includes both U.S. and international programs that encompass advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and education.
  • Research — This includes market research for measurement; production and processing research to improve grower efficiency and product quality and nutrition research to identify positioning opportunities and value messages.
  • Trade Policy — Protect the interests of the California Prune industry globally through coordination with the trade, consumers and government agencies.
  • Issues Management — Protect the health of the industry by keeping it apprised of issues that could impact it and being prepared for crisis management in an emergency.
prunes on cutting board

California Prune Board Staff

Donn Zea
Executive Director | [email protected]

Esther Ritson-Elliott 
Director of International Marketing and Communications | [email protected]

Kiaran Locy 
Director of Brand and Industry Communications | [email protected]

Kevin Verbruggen
European Marketing Director | [email protected]

Jared Ruggles
Controller | [email protected]

Becky Poland
Executive Coordinator | [email protected]

Alexis Consulo 
Marketing Communications Specialist | [email protected]

prune orchard

The California Prune Board, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs).

Individuals with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the Becky at (916) 749-3442 or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.