Amid a milestone 100th year of operations, Sun-Maid has been recognized for its business accomplishments, winning the 2012 Baker, Peterson and Franklin Ag Business Award presented recently at a ceremony in Fresno, Calif.
The award honors an agricultural organization whose accomplishments have significantly contributed to the industry and the local Fresno community. Sun-Maid president Barry Kriebel accepted the award on behalf of Sun-Maid and its raisin growers, employees, suppliers, and customers.
Baker, Peterson and Franklin is an accounting and consulting firm in Fresno. It has been presenting the ag business award since 1996.
Sun-Maid processes one-third of the California Central Valley raisin production.
Sun-Maid is locally owned by 750 family farmers who farm approximately 50,000 acres of vineyards in California’s Central Valley. Sun-Main employs more than 800 employees. The multi-generational cooperative members represent an average production of 100,000 raisin tons annually. Its 640,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility in Kingsburg is one of the largest employers in the region.
This year Sun-Maid will return $300 million to the California economy, primarily in the Central Valley.
Sun-Maid was founded in 1912 by a group of San Joaquin Valley raisin growers in downtown Fresno. In 1915, Miss Lorraine Collett Petersen posed for the painting that would become the Sun-Maid trademark and one of the most widely recognized brands around the world.
The raisin processor has been ranked as one of the top 100 cooperatives by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"There have been thousands and thousands of people who have made Sun-Maid a success over these 100 years," Kriebel said. "And it is a tribute to their decisions and their leadership that has made Sun-Maid the success that it is today."
“Fresno County is the number one agricultural region in the state and the nation and there are so many deserving businesses in the area. We are honored, especially in light of this being our 100th anniversary,” Kriebel said.
“In our 100 years, we have sold a lot of raisins,” Kriebel said. “If laid end to end, these would reach 93 million miles from Fresno to the sun.”
Sun-Maid celebrates its 100th anniversary with a range of activities, including publishing the print book and eBook Sun-Maid Raisins & Dried Fruits: Serving American Families & the World Since 1912. It also brought the face of the brand, the iconic Sun-Maid Girl, to life through social media—launching her own Facebook page where she shares her adventures with fans.
Sun-Maid will hold its 100th annual meeting on, Dec. 1 in Fresno. The meeting program will include guest speaker Paul Mobley. Mobley is an award-winning photographer who completed the book, “American Farmer: The Heart of Our Country.” Mobley’s presentation will also include recent portraits of Sun-Maid’s long-standing grower members.
“For 100 years we’ve been known for two things—families and Fresno. Fresno because we were located in downtown Fresno from 1918 to 1964. Even though we have moved 20 miles south to Kingsburg, we’re really a part of Fresno and Fresno County,” Kriebel said. “And ‘families,’ because we are made up of family farms, we live in the area, and our employees live here. Also, because the little red box is in virtually every family household in the country.”