September 11, 2018 – – Modesto, CA – – California almonds are included in the $12 billion trade mitigation package announced by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture assisting farmers suffering from damage due to international trade retaliation. The damage assessment figure assigned to almonds is $63.3 million, yet the program details of distribution are forthcoming.
The announcement by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue pertaining to almonds is a result of the industry coming together and advocating through the Almond Alliance of California (AAC). Elaine Trevino, President/CEO of AAC states “The industry 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.”
The almond industry has been significantly impacted by retaliatory tariffs and the inclusion of the commodity in the USDA trade mitigation package is confirmation of that reality by the Administration. AAC President/CEO states “This is the recognition that the California almond industry deserves given the hard work and investment that they have made to grow a proven nutritious food to meet international demand for wholesome products and to increase markets for almonds, thereby improving the federal trade deficit with our international partners.”
Almonds are one of California’s top three valued commodities and the leading agricultural export. The California almond industry exports 67% of what it produces, thereby making it a valuable commodity that addresses the federal trade deficit. 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. On the domestic side the California almond industry generates about 104,000 jobs in California, with 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.
About the Almond Alliance of California
The Almond Alliance of California (AAC) was formerly the Almond Hullers and Processors Association and is a trusted non-profit organization with a mission of advocating on behalf of the Almond industry in California. AAC actively advocates for the positions of almond growers, hullers, shellers, handers and processors, while educating the industry about upcoming and existing regulatory changes. Through workshops, newsletters, conferences and meetings, AAC serves as a clearing house of information that informs the almond industry and continues to position the industry as an agricultural leader in the state.