Alliance hosts FFA students at Ag Day at Capitol

March 22, 2019 – -California’s agricultural community gathered on the west steps of the state capitol last week to showcase the bounty of crops and commodities produced in our state.  The Almond Alliance brought Merced FFA and civics students to Ag Day at the Capitol to meet with state legislators and tell the story of the importance of agriculture to the central valley. Thank you to those Assemblymembers who took time to speak with students about the importance of agriculture to California.

Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Hearings held in Senate and Assembly

March 22, 2019 – -Both the Assembly and Senate Budget Sub Committees on Resources heard the Governor’s “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water” trailer bill proposal. Those Governor’s trailer bill proposes the following:

* A fertilizer tax of $0.006 per dollar of sales.

* A $0.01355 deduction per cwt. from milk producers’ payments.

* A tax to not exceed $1,000 on Confined Animal Facilities (excluding dairies, but including bovine, poultry, swine and other livestock operations) per year.

* A water tax of $0.95 per month on residential public water system customers and a $4.00, $6.00 and $10.00 per month tax on larger commercial water meter customers.

* $50,000,000 to the cleanup and testing of contaminated properties in the communities surrounding the Exide Technologies facility in the City of Vernon.

The items will all be discussed during the hearing and held “open” for more future discussions. It will be the first time that the agriculture industry will weigh-in on the issue since a bill with the same concepts died last year.

Ag Coalition on China Sends Letter to Trump

March 22, 2019- -On behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers, and food producers Almond Alliance and other members of an agriculture coalition sent a letter to President Trump regarding access to the Chinese market for America’s farmers and food manufacturers. The letter expressed praise for the Presidents unprecedented efforts to hold China accountable for its unfair trade practices and reiterated the importance of American products receiving equitable treatment from trade partners abroad.

The coalition asked that during ongoing negotiations, the Administration prioritize the removal of all retaliatory tariffs and make their immediate elimination a mandatory condition of any successful trade agreement. Removing all retaliatory tariffs would have an immediate beneficial effect by bolstering our agricultural economy and restoring a measure of certainty to those industries that supply the Chinese market.

To read letter, Click Here.

Agriculture Bills Pass First Policy Committee

March 22, 2019 – -Two Ag bills passed their first policy committees. AB 202, by Assemblymember Devon Mathis, protects landowners from additional regulations when undertaking conservation measures to protect endangered species by extending indefinitely the safe harbor for the accidental “take” of an endangered species.

SB 62 by Senator Bill Dodd, saves agricultural operations time and resources by extending until 2024 the safe harbor for the accidental “take” of an endangered species during lawful routine and ongoing agricultural activities.

Both bills are significant and deal with a section of the California Endangered Species Act that provides farmers and ranchers the ability to produce food and fiber without fear of penalties if they accidentally take a candidate, threatened or endangered species in the normal course of farming or ranching. In exchange, the farmers and ranchers voluntarily manage their lands in a manner that contributes to the recovery of a listed species. The program has been successful for the agriculture industry and beneficial to various species.

FDA Publishes Final Rule Extending Compliance Dates for Agricultural Water Provisions

March 22, 2019 – -U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a rule to finalize the new compliance dates for the agricultural water requirements in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

Larger farms are now required to comply with the agricultural water requirements by January 26, 2022, while small farms have until January 26, 2023 and very small farms until January 26, 2024. This rule does not change the compliance dates for sprout operations.

For More Information:

* Constituent Update

* Final Rule: Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption; Extension of Compliance Dates for Subpart

* FSMA Final Rule on Produce Safety

 

FDA Announces April 17 Public Meeting to Discuss Draft Guidance on the FSMA Intentional Adulteration Rule

March 22, 2019 – -The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will hold a public meeting on April 17, 2019 to discuss the draft guidance for compliance and implementation of the “Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration” rule (Intentional Adulteration rule), which was issued under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

The public meeting will be held from 8:30 am to 2pm at:

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

Harvey Wiley Building auditorium (first floor)

5001 Campus Drive

College Park, MD 20740

Those interested in attending the public meeting can find more information, Click Here.

38th Annual Convention 2019 Early Registration Prices End March 29th!

March 22, 2019 – -Thanks to Yosemite Farm Credit for being the our Registration Sponsor for over 15 years!

2019 Annual Convention at The Meritage Resort & Spa Napa, California April 30 to May 2, 2019

REGISTER HERE

We are delighted to have negotiated discounted room rates for our members. Room rates start at $225.00+taxes for single/double occupancy plus $20.00+tax daily Resort Fee. If you are unable to attend for any reason, you are responsible for cancelling your own room reservation directly with the hotel at least 72 hours prior to date of arrival by 12:00pm PST to avoid a one-night room and tax penalty charge imposed by the hotel. Check-in time: 4:00 pm, Check-out time: 11:00 am.

To Reserve Room, click here or call the hotel directly for reservations at (707) 251-1900. Please ask for Group Reservations and mention that you are with the “Almond Alliance of California” to get the group rate. Early reservations are recommended as discounted rooms are limited. Conference room rates are available through March 31, 2019 or until sold out.

Please note that in order to have a reservation in the group room block, you must be registered for the Almond Alliance Annual Convention by March 31, 2019. Almond Alliance reserves the right to review the conference room block and remove those individuals who have not registered for the conference. The hotel reservation should be made under the corresponding registered delegate’s name to avoid confusion.

Registration will be open from January 28, 2019 – April 22, 2019. For more information on the convention click HERE.

If you have any questions about the convention or interested in sponsorship opportunities please email ahollis@almondalliance.org 

A big THANK YOU to our 2019 Metal and Media Sponsors for their continued support!

India again extends deadline for imposition of higher import duties on 29 US products till April 1

March 1, 2019 – -India’s exports to the US in 2017-18 stood at USD 47.9 billion, while imports were USD 26.7 billion. The trade balance is in favour of India.

The Narendra Modi-led government on Tuesday extended the deadline to impose retaliatory customs duties on 29 US products, including almond, walnut and pulses, till April 1.

As discussions are going on between India and the US for a proposed trade package, the commerce ministry had asked its finance counterpart to again defer the implementation of a notification to impose high duties on US products.

A notification said that implementation of increased customs duty on specified imports originating in USA has been postponed from March 2, 2019 to April 1, 2019.

To read full article, click here.

Business groups launch coalition to pass new NAFTA

March 1, 2019 – – A new coalition, spearheaded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Manufacturers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is launching to help secure passage of President Trump’s new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada.

USMCA Coalition is made up of over 200 companies and associations that represent farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, service providers and the technology sector, the group announced on Tuesday.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, also known as the USMCA, is the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement deal. Trump signed it in November, setting off a six-month deadline for Congress to approve it.

To read full article, click here.

CDFA’S Produce Safety Program Prepares for Food Safety Inspections to Begin in Spring

March 1, 2019 – – Many who fall under the Produce Safety Rule for Food Safety Modernization Act have received the Produce Safety questionnaire. The intent of the questionnaire is to gain more farm specific information, including additional crops, correct contact person, etc. If the almond producer is providing the appropriate disclosure to utilize the commercial processing exemption on all their product, indicating that on the bottom line is all that is necessary.

To read CDFA’s full Press Release, click here.

Example questionnaire, click here.