In July, industry members and ABC staff were in Washington,
D.C., for a weeklong series of meetings 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 (USAEDC) conference, where they met with USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) field staff from key export markets.
Industry members and ABC staff met with governmental and
agency leadership during the Almond Board’s annual visit to
the nation’s capital. They are, from left, Van Soetaert,
Baldwin Minkler Farms; Richard Waycott, CEO, Almond
Board of California (ABC); Julie Adams, vice president, ABC;
Bill Harp, chair, Almond Board of California; Martin Pohl,
Hughson Nut Co.; and Caroline Stringer, ABC associate.
Throughout the week, industry members met with U.S. government leadership, emphasizing the importance of stable market access and science-based standards for the industry’s long-term well being, as well as the environmental and production
challenges facing growers. The group also met with the Office of
the U.S. Trade Representative to discuss recent name change issues in China as well as the impact of pending free-trade agreements. A meeting with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s office and key undersecretaries provided an opportunity to highlight water and bee issues, as well as the economic contributions California Almonds make to the state and U.S. economies.
Noteworthy messages included:
- Research priorities and the importance of public/private partnerships with U.S. government and academia;
- Almond industry initiatives in line with pending regulations under FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act; and
- Presentation on industry programs, research and economic scope to Capitol Hill staffers.
For further information, please email Julie Adams.