Industry members and Almond Board staff were in Washington, D.C., recently to update government agencies and industry alliances on almond production and market development issues. The delegation also participated in the annual U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council conference, where they met with USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) field staff from key export markets.
Delegates emphasized the importance of stable market access and science-based standards to ensure technical barriers are kept to a minimum. The group met FAS staff and with the U.S. Trade Representative’s office to discuss China almond standards and tariff concerns. A meeting with USDA Secretary Vilsack’s office and key undersecretaries provided an opportunity to explain the economic contributions California Almonds make to the California state and U.S. economies, including farm-gate value and job creation.
Trip highlights included:
- Clarification on Freedom of Information requests: how confidentiality is maintained for proprietary grower practices and handler procedures;
- Initial discussions regarding ABC participation in a pilot project assessing obligations under FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act being satisfied through existing USDA requirements; and
- Presentation on industry programs, research and economic scope to Capitol Hill staffers.
For further information, please email Julie Adams.