As I assume new duties as the Almond Board of California's vice chair of the Board of Directors, the transition from chair of the Environmental Committee has given me pause to reflect on the many accomplishments as well as challenges that lay before the Environmental Committee.
Almond growers have always been out front when it comes to environmental issues. The Environmental Committee evolved in 2001 as a task force within the Production Research Committee to address mounting regulatory pressures on pesticide use and other crop inputs. Later established as its own committee, it has worked to gather data about the environmental impacts of almond production on a number of issues.
Thanks in large part to Gabriele Ludwig and her engagement with the agricultural, environmental and regulatory communities on our behalf, the almond industry has not only developed economically and environmentally sound practices to address environmental issues, but also provides technical information to help base new regulations on actual data and science.
More recently, it became clear that we needed to help almond growers not only explore sustainability in their production practices, but also communicate the sustainable practices already in place for many almond growers to regulators and the consuming public. Thanks to the leadership of the Environmental Committee, the almond industry has become a leader on the sustainability front. I am proud of these and the many other accomplishments of the committee, and confident in the leadership of incoming Chair Mel Machado, Gabriele Ludwig and the rest of the committee to continue to move these important issues forward.
Dave Baker, Vice Chair
Almond Board of California