Meet Sarb Johl, our Chairman of the California Cling Peach Board! Ever since he joined his father in the family peach business in 1976, Sarb Johl, newly appointed Chairman of the California Cling Peach Board (CCPB), has been ardently committed to the California Cling Peach industry, as well as to American agriculture.
Johl reveres Mother Nature as the most challenging force facing the farming industry, but confirms that the delicate balance between supply and demand presents a menacing obstacle for growers.
Johl first encountered the severity of market oversupply in 1986 when the California Cling Peach industry was experiencing a sharp decline. Following the closure of a major processing plant, Johl was one of many growers who were left with thousands of tons of unsold peaches and looming financial consequences. The situation was desperate, but Johl refused to give up.
Despite strong opposition by many industry leaders, Johl found resolution in a promising, yet controversial business plan that involved the formation of Sacramento Growers Cooperative and Sierra Quality Canners (SACCO), a Co-Op/Corporate Joint Venture. Johl assumed an instrumental role in the venture, as the only Chairman of the Co-Op’s Board and President throughout SACCO’s organization, that inspired other growers and as a result, individual growers and the industry experienced a successful year.
Johl points out that the California Cling Peach industry is cyclical. “We are currently facing a situation similar to the one we faced in the mid-1980s. The market is oversupplied due to lower-priced imports, and growers and processors alike are experiencing the financial consequences. Growers are being forced to bury their fruit and pull out their orchards.”
As the incoming Chairman of the CCPB, Johl will lead the industry in the effort to resolve the current problem of oversupply. His nine years of membership on the California Cling Peach Board which included work as the Vice Chairman, his experience with SACCO and his passion for the industry have prepared him well and the industry has great expectations for the new Chairman.
After immigrating to America from India in 1966, Sarb Johl joined his father’s California Cling Peach business (Yuba City, CA) in 1976, after graduating from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Engineering Technology/Electronics.