Help us tell the almond story at the State Capitol on June 12th!

May 28, 2019 – -Help us tell the almond story at the State Capitol on June 12th!

The Almond Alliance invites you to participate in the Almond Festival at the State Capitol. This event is intended to bring awareness to State Senators, Assemblymembers and their staff about the value of California almonds to the state’s economy. The Almond Festival at the Capitol is a perfect opportunity for our industry to come together and showcase the work we do and have personal conversations with those who pass and enforce state laws and regulations. This event will take place Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. Events like the Almond Festival at the State Capitol are essential in raising awareness of the California almond industry, while also providing state legislators with a better understanding of the scope, size, value and sustainability of California almonds. There will be music, booths, games and trivia in order to create both a fun and educational event.

The Alliance is looking for exhibitors and volunteers in order to make this event a success. We would love to have you partner with us in whatever capacity you can to help tell the almond story at the State Capitol. For more information, contact Sabrina Sordello or Elaine Trevino at the Almond Alliance office at (209) 300-7140.

Almond Movers & Shakers Cocktail Reception June 11 in Sacramento

May 28, 2019 – -On June 11, 2019, the Almond PAC will hold our first annual- Almond Movers & Shakers Cocktail Reception, an Almond PAC fundraiser, at The Citizen Hotel in Sacramento. This event provides almond industry members the opportunity to visit with bipartisan legislators as they shake it up during an interactive mixology competition.

Four legislators will be competing against each other by mixing up their own signature cocktails using almond liquor and almond products. We are lucky, and very grateful, to have five almond industry members serve as judges for this event; Brian Wahlbrink, Sperry Farms; Christine Gemperle, Gemperle Orchards; Mayo Ryan, North State Hulling; Jeannine Campos Grech, Campos Brothers Farms and David Pohl, Pohl & Holmes, Inc.

This event is designed as an energetic reception where legislators can learn about the almond industry. We will share information, resources, educate our policy makers and elevate the industry’s collective power. Almond PAC events are essential in raising awareness of the California almond industry, while also providing state legislators with a better understanding of the scope, size, value and sustainability of California almonds. Any contribution to the Almond PAC is greatly appreciated.

We hope you will join us!

Event Sponsors are:

Blue Diamond Growers

Cunningham Ranch, Inc.

Famoso Nut Company

Hughson Nut Company

Mapes Ranch

Monte Vista Farming Company

Parreira Almond Processing Co.

Rolling Hills Nut Company

RPAC, LLC

Sierra Valley Almonds

TriCal, Inc.

Trinitas

For more information, contact Annie Romero at the Almond Alliance office at (209) 300-7140 or email aromero@almondalliance.org

 

Almonds included in Round 2 of Support for Farmers Impacted by Tariff Retaliation and Trade Disruption Announced by USDA Secretary Perdue

May 23, 2019 – -Today USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced round two of support for farmers impacted by retaliatory tariffs and trade disruption in key export markets, specifically China. California almonds are included in the $16 billion trade mitigation package. The package will consist of $14.5 billion for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), $1.4 billion for the Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP) and $100 million for the Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program.  The damage assessment figure assigned to almonds is not known at this time. Payments for almonds will be based on a per acre basis, not Average Gross Income (AGI) like the first round of retaliatory tariff mitigation support.

Almond Alliance President Elaine Trevino noted almonds are one of California’s top three valued commodities and the leading agriculture export.  The California almond industry exports 67% of what it produces. “The Almond Alliance has been working tirelessly to ensure that almonds are included in the discussion, both in the trade impacts experienced to date and the desired mitigation outcome.  During the first round of trade assistance, approximately 50% of California almond growers applied for direct payment, but many were limited due to the AGI limitations,” said Trevino.

Almonds have been impacted by retaliatory tariffs in a significant way, and this announcement is confirmation of that reality by the Administration. The mitigation is based on the trade impacts in China, with almond exports down about 33%. Looking specifically at direct China shipments for the first quarter of 2019 (Jan-March), California almonds are at about 60% of what was shipped in the first quarter of 2018.  Meanwhile, Australia has taken full advantage of the 0% tariff under their FTA with China, increasing their 11-month almond exports into China by almost 2,000 percent. These retaliatory tariffs have impacted California’s market share of almonds in China, a region that the California almond industry has invested in for over 30 years to develop.

“While direct payments are not the ideal solution, they will help assist those who have been negatively impacted by the pricing effects resulting from the retaliatory tariffs and allow them to continue to operate in these uncertain times,” said Trevino. “I would like to strongly state that the California almond industry is focused on trade and market growth.  None of the mitigation programs will begin to offset the financial impacts, the disruptions to our relationships with commercial partners, or the longer term effect this could have on the considerable market development investments the almond industry has made over the past decades.”

The California almond industry generates about 104,000 jobs statewide, over 97,000 in the Central Valley, especially in areas that suffer from chronic unemployment. The industry also generates more than $21 billion in economic revenue and directly creates more than $11 billion to the size of the state’s total economy.

The announcement by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue pertaining to almonds is a result of the industry coming together and advocating through the Almond Alliance.  “The California almond community should be proud that through a unified organized effort they were able to have their voice heard and be acknowledged for what they provide to the national economy and what significance they have in the international market place,” said Trevino.

For USDA Press Release, Click Here.

About the Almond Alliance of California

The Almond Alliance of California (AAC) is a trusted non-profit organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of the California almond community. California almonds are an economic powerhouse, generating more than $21 billion in economic revenue and directly contributing more than $11 billion to the state’s total economy. California’s top agricultural export, almonds create approximately 104,000 jobs statewide, over 97,000 in the Central Valley, which suffers from chronic unemployment. The AAC is dedicated to educating state legislators, policy makers and regulatory officials about the California almond community. As a membership-based organization, our members include almond processors, hullers/shellers, growers and allied businesses. Through workshops, newsletters, conferences, social media and personal meetings, AAC works to raise awareness, knowledge and provide a better understanding about the scope, size, value and sustainability of the California almond community. For more information on the Almond Alliance, visit https://almondalliance.org/ or check out the Almond Alliance on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Contact:

Elaine Trevino

AAC President/CEO

(209) 300-7140, etrevino@almondalliance.org

USDA Announces Support for Farmers Impacted by Unjustified Retaliation and Trade Disruption

(Washington, D.C., May 23, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take several actions to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation and trade disruption. President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a relief strategy to support American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally. Specifically, the President has authorized USDA to provide up to $16 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated impacts of unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and other trade disruptions. These programs will assist agricultural producers while President Trump works to address long-standing market access barriers.

“China hasn’t played by the rules for a long time and President Trump is standing up to them, sending the clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate their unfair trade practices, which include non-tariff trade barriers and the theft of intellectual property. President Trump has great affection for America’s farmers and ranchers, and he knows they are bearing the brunt of these trade disputes. In fact, I’ve never known of a president that has been more concerned or interested in farmer wellbeing and long-term profitability than President Trump,” said Secretary Perdue. “The plan we are announcing today ensures farmers do not bear the brunt of unfair retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and other trading partners. Our team at USDA reflected on what worked well and gathered feedback on last year’s program to make this one even stronger and more effective for farmers. Our farmers work hard, are the most productive in the world, and we aim to match their enthusiasm and patriotism as we support them.”

Background:

American farmers have dealt with unjustified retaliatory tariffs and years of non-tariff trade disruptions, which have curtailed U.S. exports to China. Trade damages from such retaliation and market distortions have impacted a host of U.S. commodities, including crops like soybeans, corn, wheat, cotton, rice, and sorghum; livestock products like milk and pork; and many fruits, nuts, and other crops. High tariffs disrupt normal marketing patterns, raising costs by forcing commodities to find new markets. Additionally, American goods shipped to China have been slowed from reaching market by unusually strict or cumbersome entry procedures, which affect the quality and marketability of perishable crops. These boost marketing costs and unfairly affect our producers. USDA will use the following programs to assist farmers:

  • Market Facilitation Program (MFP) for 2019, authorized under the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), will provide $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers.
    • Producers of alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long grain and medium grain rice, mustard seed, dried beans, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, upland cotton, and wheat will receive a payment based on a single county rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings to those crops in aggregate in 2019. Those per acre payments are not dependent on which of those crops are planted in 2019, and therefore will not distort planting decisions. Moreover, total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings.
    • Dairy producers will receive a per hundredweight payment on production history and hog producers will receive a payment based on hog and pig inventory for a later-specified time frame.
    • Tree nut producers, fresh sweet cherry producers, cranberry producers, and fresh grape producers will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of production.
    • These payments will help farmers to absorb some of the additional costs of managing disrupted markets, to deal with surplus commodities, and to expand and develop new markets at home and abroad.
    • Payments will be made in up to three tranches, with the second and third tranches evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. The first tranche will begin in late July/early August as soon as practical after Farm Service Agency crop reporting is completed by July 15th. If conditions warrant, the second and third tranches will be made in November and early January.
  • Additionally, CCC Charter Act authority will be used to implement a $1.4 billion Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP) through the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to purchase surplus commodities affected by trade retaliation such as fruits, vegetables, some processed foods, beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and milk for distribution by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to food banks, schools, and other outlets serving low-income individuals.
  • Finally, the CCC will use its Charter Act authority for $100 million to be issued through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) administered by the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) to assist in developing new export markets on behalf of producers.

Further details regarding eligibility and payment rates will be released at a later date.

For USDA Press Release, Click Here.