The Almond Board of California (ABC) is pleased to announce that California almond growers recently voted to continue their almond federal marketing order program for five more years. The vote, held from August 5-16, 2019, resulted with 95 percent of eligible growers who voted, and 97 percent of the volume represented by those voting in the referendum, favoring continuation of the marketing order.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is required to conduct a continuance referendum every five years (see USDA release). The last referendum was completed in 2014 and resulted in 91 percent of eligible growers who voted, and 94 percent of the volume represented, favoring continuation of the marketing order.
The vote represents the California almond industry’s confidence in the Almond Board and the many programs it administers and funds with industry assessment dollars. Those programs include an extensive production and environmental research program coupled with education and outreach that has been funded to help growers continue to meet the challenges facing agriculture. This research was also fundamental to the launching of the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals, which demonstrate the California almond industry’s commitment to continuous improvement in four areas: reduce the amount of water used to grow a pound of almonds by 20%, increase adoption of environmentally friendly pest management tools by 25%, achieve zero waste in orchards by putting everything grown to optimal use and reduce dust during harvest by 50%.
The 2025 Goals are only one of the innovative programs undertaken by ABC. The Honey Bee Best Management Practices, released in 2014, continue to educate industry members and affiliates on how to best protect and improve honey bee health. ABC has funded more than 120 research projects supporting honey bees since 1995. And, speaking of health, ABC’s commitment to human health and nutrition remains strong and is demonstrated through its over 100 projects funded to investigate almonds in relation to heart health, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, weight management, satiety and gut health, and even skin health and cognition.
Other key program areas for ABC include domestic and international marketing, the collection and dissemination of industry statistics, and food quality and safety programs. The Almond Board, along with the growers and handlers who fund and support ABC through assessment dollars and by participating in committees and workgroups, has enabled the industry to develop the tools needed to assist growers, to build demand ahead of supply and to achieve the considerable success experienced over the years.
Industry members with questions about the Almond Board’s programs or how assessment dollars are spent are encouraged to
attend one of ABC’s many public committee and Board of Directors meetings held throughout the year. A meeting schedule may be found at Almonds.com/Events. Also, all industry and allied industry members are invited to join ABC at The Almond Conference 2019, held this year at Cal Expo in Sacramento on December 10-12. Register today and book your hotel at AlmondConference.com.
ABC looks forward to continuing to work with and represent California almond growers and handlers!