April 7, 2021 – -– The Almond Alliance of California (AAC) is joining with a broad array of organizations from across California’s agricultural and environmental landscape to form the California Pollinator Coalition to address a shared commitment to the health of pollinators. The Coalition is focusing on increasing the value working lands provide to our environment while benefitting biodiversity and farmers alike.

“It’s a simple fact that without honey bees, there would be no almonds. The Almond Alliance strongly supports this collaborative effort to increase habitat for pollinators on working lands,” said Alliance Chairman Mike Curry.

The Alliance is sponsoring AB 391 California Pollinator Conservation Funding, authored by Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton). This bill will provide critically needed funding for activities that accelerate the adoption of conservation practices designed to integrate pollinator habitat and forage on working lands.   “California almond farmers know that every almond exists because a honey bee visited an almond blossom,” explained Curry. “Honey bees and other pollinators need a varied and nutritious diet. This bill will help growers implement those important conservation practices that benefit honey bees as they forage for pollen and nectar in the orchard. The Almond Alliance is proud to sponsor this bill and looks forward to working with its partners for the bill’s successful passage in the California legislature.”

Assemblymember Villapuda noted the importance of protecting pollinators. “Pollinators are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food,” he explained. “They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce. Working lands offer an opportunity to expand habitat and forage for pollinators which will help sequester carbon and contribute to climate risk reduction. To further engage growers in delivering solutions that benefit pollinators, state investment is critical for activities that accelerate the adoption of conservation practices that integrate pollinator habitat and forage on working lands.”

AB 391 will appropriate $5 million dollars to provide funding to a variety of agencies to deliver technical assistance, outreach and grants to incentivize participation in state and federal conservation programs where pollinator habitat and forage is established.

The California Pollinator Coalition, convened by Pollinator Partnership, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Almond Board of California, includes more than twenty organizations – representing the large majority of California’s crop and range land – pledging to increase habitat for pollinators on working lands. Together, the goal is to increase collaboration between agriculture and conservation groups for the benefit of biodiversity and food production. The result will be on-the-ground improvements, technical guidance, funded research, documentation of relevant case studies, and tracked progress toward increasing healthier pollinator habitats.

Current California Pollinator Coalition membership includes:

  • Agricultural Council of California
  • Almond Alliance
  • Almond Board of California
  • California Alfalfa and Forage Association
  • California Association of Pest Control Advisers
  • California Association of Resource Conservation Districts
  • California Cattlemen’s Association
  • California Citrus Mutual
  • California Department of Food and Agriculture
  • California Farm Bureau Federation
  • California State Beekeepers Association
  • California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • Monarch Joint Venture
  • Monarch Watch
  • Pollinator Partnership
  • Project Apis m.
  • University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service of California
  • Western Growers
  • Neal Williams, University of California, Davis

About the Almond Alliance

The Almond Alliance of California (AAC) is a trusted non-profit organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of the California almond community. California almonds generate more than $21 billion in economic revenue and directly contribute 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.