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Building Bridges

With the California Almond industry facing the implementation of food safety regulations worldwide, we are reminded how important it is to be part of the regulatory process, here or in one of our 90+ export markets. Technical and regulatory issues are complex, take time to address, and don’t happen in isolation.

ABC’s Technical and Regulatory Affairs Committee (TRAC) serves as a bridge between ABC programs and regulatory/legislative stakeholders. One example of these efforts in China, our largest export destination, involves a new industry standard in which almonds are “renamed.” (See "China Renames California Almonds.")

TRAC has leveraged its relationships with USDA, trade officials and Chinese government authorities to ensure the process results in minimal disruption of import practices, and that implementation/enforcement is transparent. Working with the Global Market Development committees, TRAC is sharing the information on how this standard will be applied with California suppliers and Chinese industry to minimize the impact on shipments or misunderstandings regarding compliance.

Building awareness among regulators regarding almond industry food safety and quality programs is an essential function that TRAC serves. Our goal is to ensure regulations and standards are appropriate and do not duplicate other efforts. This can only happen when regulators understand our industry’s practices and programs.

Sincerely,
Martin Pohl, Chairman
Technical and Regulatory Affairs Committee

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