As a business in the California almond industry, you understand the challenges of operating your business while remaining competitive and profitable. Your investment in our organization would allow us to work hard to advocate for our industry, saving millions of dollars by fighting regulations, extending compliance deadlines, reducing costs, continuing tax benefits, while increasing our associations visibility and value at the State and Federal levels. As a non-profit organization, we strive daily to ensure that the almond industry thrives, while individual businesses maintain an economically viable and sustainable operation.
What can the Almond Alliance do for your business? Below is a summary of our key issues and successes:
Trade: The California almond industry is dependent on healthy, reliable international trade. For over a year the almond industry has been impacted by retaliatory tariffs in China, Turkey and most recently India. The Almond Alliance has engaged with the Trump Administration and articulated the past, current and anticipated impacts to the industry. The Almond Alliance’s goal is to articulate the industry’s damages, so it is clearly understands that there is pain in the pricing and uncertainty of continued retaliatory tariffs. One result of this advocacy is a seat at the table. Almond Alliance President and CEO Elaine Trevino was appointment, by Secretary Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, to the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade (APAC).
Hulls/Shells/Co-Product Reuse: The Almond Alliance is actively engaged with our industry to collect 2018 hull samples for the purpose of establishing an agreed-upon standard and nutritional values. The Almond Alliance facilitated meetings with hullers, feed brokers, dairyman, nutritionists, California Department of Food Agriculture (CDFA) and Almond Board of California (ABC) to begin the dialogue and process of establishing an agreed-upon feed standard. Additionally, the Almond Alliance is developing marketing materials to educate new buyers about the nutritional value of almond hulls as feed. We continue our work on finding resources for the development of biochar and co-product innovation that can be taken to the marketplace.
Legislation: This year the Almond Alliance collaborated to oppose legislation that would be harmful to our industry and support measures that address challenges and opportunities. The legislation of interest included clean drinking water, pesticides, labor, standards of identity, bee health and ag equipment incentive programs. The Almond Alliance continues to advocate for and defend programs that help in the advancement of our industry.
Bees: The Almond Alliance is working with CDFA to have access to inspect bee health from places of origin to ensure that bees are clean when they enter California and to further facilitate interstate transportation of bees. There was a recent action approved by California Fish and Game Commission to begin the process of listing four species of bumblebees as endangered. The Almond Alliance is actively fighting against this action.
Water: We continue to work closely with the Department of Water Resources and the California State Water Resources Control Board in the implementation of statewide Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. We are communicating the anticipated impacts to the state, as well as educating the almond industry about the implementation timeline and anticipated enforcement measures.
FSMA: The Almond Alliance has worked diligently on the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for multiple years, and this past year we were successful in obtaining the most recent enforcement discretions from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Growers and hullers/shellers that fall under the Produce Safety Rule, currently do not have to comply.
Trainings: The association offers several trainings in areas of importance to our membership. While many of our trainings are customized to time sensitive needs; we consistently offer our annual labor law seminars, safety compliance, and preseason programs in both English and Spanish.
Pesticides: This year California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took an aggressive stance on the use of pesticides and fungicides. From the administration’s proposed ban on chlorpyrifos to a current attempt to ban glyphosate, we worked diligently, with our partners, to highlight the importance of responsible use of these pesticides and fumigants for pest and disease management.
Given everything that is going on in the international marketplace and the political climate in Sacramento and Washington D.C, the need for constructive engagement and exchange is more important than ever. Our success depends on hard work and making sure we have enough resources to continue the advocacy and fight on behalf of the California almond industry. We would like you to be a partner and member of our organization.