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 challenging regulations, extending compliance deadlines, reducing costs, continuing tax benefits, while increasing our associations visibility and our 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:
The California almond industry is dependent on healthy, reliable international trade. It is critical we are visible and have a seat at the trade agreement table. We ensure that we have regular contact with the Biden Administration and our congressional representatives to articulate our industry position, concerns, challenges and needs. In our effort to have a stronger presence and relevance, our President, Elaine Trevino was appointed to the USDA Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade (APAC) which advises, consults and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture and the United States Trade Representative concerning trade policy and negotiating trade agreements.
The Almond Alliance originated from the Almond Hullers and Processors Association. Therefore, the markets and biomass opportunities available for almond hulls and shell are of the upmost importance to our industry. The Almond Alliance works hard to maintain and update industry standards, communicates CDFA Feed Board concerns to our members and develops marketing materials on the nutritional values of feed. Recently the Almond Alliance received a grant to expand our almond hull educational materials and expand our almond hull markets into Asia. Additionally, we continue to look at biomass options and funding resources available to our members for new technologies.
From drought, to transfers, to water usage and conveyance, the Almond Alliance is engaged. We work with our members on the implementation of SGMA, making sure that we are engaged in the State’s water policy, drought resolutions and water infrastructure funding resources. We continue to communicate the anticipated impacts of water policy to our industry as well as educate the almond industry about implementation timelines of new water regulations and policies and enforcement protocols.
This is the first year that the Almond Alliance has sponsored legislation to assist our industry. Typically, we collaborate to oppose bad legislation and promote legislation that is beneficial. Every year we engage in hundreds of state bill and about ten federal bills in the areas of water, pesticides, labor, bee health, ag equipment incentives, COVID protections and relief as well as workforce safety among other issues as they arise. We are proud of the relationships we have developed at the state and federal level and continue to advocate for and defend programs that help in the advancement of our industry.
Bees are essential to the success of the California almond industry. So, the Almond Alliance has been very active in promoting pollinator protection resources and programs to help advance pollinator health. From transportation of bees, to challenging the enlisting of bees on the California Endangered Species Act to sponsoring a state bill to generate $5 million in resources for cover crops for almond farmers – we are engaged and the voice of the almond industry.
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.
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.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took an aggressive stance on the use of pesticides and fungicides. From the administration’s proposed ban on glyphosate and 1,3 Dichloropropene, we worked diligently, with our partners, to highlight the importance of responsible use of pesticides and fumigants for pest and disease management.
The Almond Alliance continues to lead a coalition to address recent developments regarding Proposition 65 and the excessive claims being filed that cancer warnings are required for acrylamide in products made with or primarily derived from nuts, specifically almonds. In partnership with the Almond Board, we continue to engage with OEHHA on acrylamide levels in roasted almond products particularly given the regulatory obligations to which almonds are subject, in terms of the application of a mandatory 4-log microbial reduction treatment. The Almond Alliance will continue to engage with OEHHA on this issue and keep our membership updated.
In February of 2021, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to approve a plan to end agricultural burning in the San Joaquin Valley. CARB established January 1, 2025, as the absolute end date for the practice. The Almond Alliance has been a vocal advocate of what the California almond industry needs to phase out agricultural burning – from a new fleet of chipping and shredding equipment, to air burners and proven pyrolysis systems to bio energy and biomass solutions. We have advocated for State resources for phasing out ag burning. Part of those resources will fund the Alternatives to Agricultural Open Burning Program administered by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. This program provides grant funds to commercial agricultural soperations located within the Valley Air District boundaries to chip or shred agricultural material.
The Almond Alliance’s 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.