At the request of the almond industry, a Federal Marketing Order for almonds was established in 1950. At that time, it dealt primarily with compliance issues, and accordingly, was called the Almond Control Board. In the 1970’s, recognizing a need to address market development, the name was changed to the Almond Board of California. While compliance is still a crucial part of its activities, the Board now engages in production, nutrition and market research, advertising and promotion in domestic and international markets, quality control and statistical analysis and dissemination. As a Federal Marketing Order, it is important to note that the Board is not involved with and is expressly prohibited from setting field or market prices.
The Board is composed of 10 members. The more than 6,000 almond growers and 104 almond handlers elect the five growers and five handlers in an annual election process held throughout the state. Once elected, the Board elects its chair and vice-chair. The Board members give the chair the authority to appoint individuals to standing committees. Board and committee members serve without compensation. The Board is responsible for establishing policy, recommending budgets and programs to the Secretary of Agriculture for approval, and reviewing program results and effectiveness. The Almond Board is funded by an annual assessment on the marketable kernel weight of almonds.
The Almond Board of California recognizes the diverse makeup of the California almond industry and values contributions offered by its growers and handlers. The Board seeks to ensure that its programs and policies are inclusive rather than exclusive and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. Furthermore, the Board accepts and has adopted the concept of diversity which views society as a mixture of people, all with different cultural backgrounds, and each with a unique perspective and ability to contribute to the process.
Almond Board Committees
The following board-appointed committees further the work of the Almond Board.
The Administrative and Finance Committee is ultimately responsible for reviewing all budgetary recommendations and the assessment rate prior to consideration by the Board. This committee is also responsible for reviewing quarterly and annual financial statements as well as the ABC’s annual external audit. The committee is comprised of five members and five alternates plus the Treasurer.
Almond Quality and Food Safety Comittee
The Almond Quality and Food Safety Committee sets policy for and oversees the industry’s quality control program while conducting research in a number of areas to ensure that California Almonds remain a safe, high quality product. The committee oversees the USDA mandated pasteurization requirement. The committee is also tasked with monitoring quality issues, the Voluntary Aflatoxin Sampling Program, and other quality programs implemented by the Board. There are seven members and seven alternates on the committee.
The Environmental Committee provides leadership on environmental issues facing the almond growers through research and education on almond production practices based on sound scientific research, common sense, and a respect for the environment. The Committee consists of seven members and seven alternates.
Global Market Development Committee
The Global Market Development Committee identifies and evaluates growth opportunities available to the almond industry. It establishes priorities and budget allocation among the opportunities while overseeing the development of programs administered to achieve sustainable demand in these markets.It may also recommend to the Board changes in the marketing order rules and regulation granting credit to handlers for qualified promotional activities. The Committee consists of seven members and seven alternates.
Production Research Committee
The Production Research Committee oversees Almond Board-funded agriculture research in the areas of horticulture, entomology, plant pathology and nematology, integrated pest management (IPA), pollination and field oriented studies to reduce and manage aflatoxin. Since 1973 the committee has supported relevant research and assured field implementation of the findings. These efforts have resulted in increased production efficiency, improved quality, and environmentally responsible orchard and pest management practices. The Committee consists of seven members and seven alternates.
Nutrition Research Committee
The Nutrition Research Committee is comprised of seven members and six alternates, consisting of food scientists, nutritionists, almond growers and other almond industry representatives. Current strategic research areas focus on the relationship between consumption of almonds and Heart Health, Diabetes/Prediabetes, Weight Management/Gut Health, Phytochemicals/Composition, Allergens, and other areas. Ongoing nutrition research adds to the existing body of almond science, and is utilized by the Board in global marketing outreach programs to promote the consumption of almonds.
Technical and Regulatory Affairs Committee
The Technical & Regulatory Affairs Committee administer government funded technical assistance for specialty crop programs, and provide leadership in identifying, monitoring, resolving regulatory and policy issues impacting the production and global movement of California almonds. The Committee is comprised of seven members and seven alternates.
Industry Services Committee
The Industry Services Committee develops and manages an industry communications and education program on activities administered by the Board which affect the supply side of the almond industry, and recommend to the Board those leadership and outreach initiatives which encourage diversity and promote industry stakeholder participation in Board efforts. The Committee consists of seven members and seven alternates.
In addition, the Board staff compiles and tracks almond statistics, and informs and educates growers through the annual conference.