NARBA is a nonprofit membership association. Our members are growers, researchers, Extension workers, nurseries, suppliers, marketers, and others associated with the raspberry and blackberry industry. We have members in 38 states (plus DC), 5 Canadian provinces, and 7 other countries (2018)
NARBA is governed by a board of directors (called the Executive Council), which is elected by the membership. The Council elects the organization’s President, Vice President, and Treasurer. The Executive Secretary, who also serves as treasurer, is a paid staff person.
The association was originally incorporated as the North American Bramble Growers Association (NABGA) in the state of New York in 1985. It received its federal tax-exempt status (as an agricultural, or 501(c)(5) organization) in 1987. The name was changed to “North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association” in January 2008, by vote of members at the association’s annual meeting. Members also voted to make additonal changes to the association’s purposes and bylaws at this time.
In 1998, NABGA also created a separate but allied organization called the North American Bramble Growers Research Foundation (NABG-RF) to receive donations and make grants to bramble research. All donations to the NABG-RF, which is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization, are tax-exempt.
Funding for NARBA comes primarily from membership dues. There are several types of membership:
- Grower ($85/year, with introductory first-year dues of $50). Growers also pay a $5/acre acreage assessment (up to a maximum of $100). Twenty five percent of grower dues goes directly to the NABG Research Foundation to support research.
- Research or Associate ($40/year), for researchers, extension, similar professionals, and students..
- Industry ($150/year) for suppliers, marketers, processors, and similar businesses associated with the raspberry and blackberry industry.
- Affiliate organization ($150/year) for state, regional, and other organizations whose members raise raspberries and/or blackberries or whose purposes are related to those of NARBA. Members of affiliate organizations may receive discounts on membership in NARBA. Contact NARBA for more information or an affiliate application.
From its inception, the organization published a quarterly newsletter, The Bramble. It has held conferences, tours, and meetings all over the country, often in association with the North American Strawberry Association, with which it shares an overlapping membership. In 2005, the Association made a commitment to the following goals and objectives:
- Promotion of blackberries and raspberries to the consuming public by disseminating a positive and effective message through various channels of communication.
- Identifying issues and problems affecting the general interest of bramble growers and providing a unified voice to represent the bramble industry.
- Strengthening the organization’s services to its members, with improved communications among all associated with the bramble industry, and improved accessibility by interested individuals to educational programs of the organization.