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USDA Announces Almonds Included in Second Trade Assistance Program
MODESTO, Calif – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced almonds will be included in the administration’s new trade mitigation package. This package aims to continue support of farmers and ranchers impacted by delayed negotiations and trade disruption with China. Almond Board Chair Holly A. King is attending a briefing at the White House this afternoon with President Donald J. Trump and representatives from other major farm groups to discuss the trade mitigation package. “It is an honor to represent the California almond industry at the White House briefing with President Trump and express appreciation for his efforts to ease the burden of the trade tariffs on California almond growers,” said King. “We have invested heavily in developing the market for California almonds in China for more than 20 years and hope the Administration is successful in negotiating a new trade deal soon so we can get back to business as usual.” The $16 billion package includes $14.5 billion for the Market Facilitation Program, $1.4 billion in surplus commodity purchases through the Food Purchase and Distribution Program and $100 million in Agricultural Trade Promotion funding. Almonds will be included in the Marketing Facilitation Program. According to the USDA release, “Tree nut producers, fresh sweet cherry producers, cranberry producers and fresh grape producers will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of production.” The Almond Board has worked closely with the Almond Alliance of California throughout the developing tariff situation to ensure the voice of the California almond industry is heard. “The Almond Board and Almond Alliance have been actively engaged with USDA, the US Trade Representative and Congress regarding the impact of this trade disruption on almonds. The Alliance has led efforts ensuring almonds are included in the second mitigation package,” said Julie Adams, Vice President of Global, Technical and Regulatory Affairs at the Almond Board. “We look forward to working with USDA in leveraging these funds to best benefit the entire almond industry and our grower communities.” Overall, trade disputes have underscored the importance of having diverse, healthy export markets, a position of strength that the California almond industry has long enjoyed. For decades, ABC has supported the industry by making significant investments in foreign market development and expansion. Recently, the Almond Board started marketing programs in Italy, Mexico, Germany and re-entered Japan. ABC also ramped up marketing activity in Germany and India. “While we appreciate almonds’ inclusion in the second package, almonds continue to be impacted by the increase in tariffs and we’ve seen significant decline in shipments to China, our third-largest export market,” said Adams. “Getting back to normal trade is critical.” Almond Board Chair Holly King (front right) joined Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue (front left) and other agricultural leaders at the White House to discuss details of the trade mitigation package with President Trump.
Soccer Champion Julie Ertz Fuels Her World Cup Ambitions with the Help of Almonds
MODESTO, Calif. – The road to the World Cup is paved with long hours, grueling practices and back-to-back commitments—and no one knows this routine better than World Cup and Olympic athlete Julie Ertz. Effortlessly juggling a jam-packed schedule filled with Chicago Red Stars practice, national team training and the Ertz Family Foundation’s philanthropic efforts has become second nature to this soccer champion. Ertz stays motivated through her early mornings and late nights by focusing on foods that fuel her mind and body throughout the day—and almonds are an important part of her balanced diet. The natural protein (6 grams) and fiber found in almonds powers Ertz through anything the day may hold—whether it’s a 5-mile run or a late evening event—so she can seize every opportunity to own her day. Ertz is an expert at making the most of every day and suggests incorporating the following habits into your routine so you can do the same: Start Mornings with a Stretch. Mornings are so important in setting the tone for the rest of the day. Anyone can get themselves into their “own it” zone by making time for a good stretch to loosen up and feel energized to conquer the day ahead. View Food as Fuel. Fueling the body with nutritious foods provides the energy needed for anyone to own their everyday, every day. Portable, healthy snacks like almonds are easy to put in a bag for enjoying on the go and have the protein (6 grams) and fiber needed for the day ahead. Find Little Ways to Motivate Yourself. Daily inspiration is important to getting into your zone and staying motivated – and you can get it from your family, friends or coworkers. Keep a few inspirational personal items handy like handwritten notes, photos or trinkets that reminds you of the people who are rooting for you to succeed. “My days are full throttle, so I need to be in top shape—both physically and mentally,” said Ertz. “With the help of almonds, I can power through anything from sprints and drills on the field to media conferences and galas off the field. Almonds provide the natural, long-lasting energy that helps me seize every opportunity to truly own my everyday, every day. Whether it’s practicing relentlessly for the World Cup competition or even getting a new business off the ground, our Own It Experts have great tips for harnessing those Own It moments. ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia understands that each day is a chance to own it in a new way. She believes that preparation is key for productivity, snacking on natural and healthy foods like almonds is essential to powering through back-to-back meetings and that your “you-time” is essential to maintaining clarity in an on-the-go lifestyle. Home renovation experts Ashley and Andy Williams juggle their home renovation business with the demands of parenthood. The couple relies on almonds to fuel them through everything from complex home renovation projects to the daily after school routine. California Almonds’ team of experts knows that it’s crucial to get into that optimal “own it” state to reach maximum productivity. For more inspiration on how to own your everyday, every day with the help of almonds, visit http://www.almonds.com/consumers/snacking/own-your-everyday. About Julie Ertz Julie Ertz is a professional soccer player for the Chicago Red Stars and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. In 2014, she was selected third overall in the first round of the NWSL College Draft by the Chicago Red Stars where she has been a mainstay on the team for the past five seasons. Her performance as a midfielder during the 2017 season earned her the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award. On the international stage, Julie has been a member of the US Women’s National Soccer Team since 2013, making 73 appearances for the team and scoring 18 goals. Julie represented the U.S. at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 where the team went on to win the tournament, and she was subsequently named to the FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team. Julie was also a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, and is currently preparing for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup that will be taking place in France this summer. About Payal Kadakia Payal Kadakia is the Founder and Executive Chairperson of ClassPass, a monthly membership program that provides people of all fitness levels access to the best boutique fitness classes and gyms across the U.S. and internationally. Since its launch in 2013, ClassPass has facilitated over 45 million reservations across 8,500 partners worldwide. Payal is also the Founder and Artistic Director of The Sa Dance Company, founded in 2009 with the mission to increase awareness of Indian Dance in the mainstream and serve as a platform for expressing the Indian-American identity through movement. Payal previously worked as a consultant at Bain & Company and holds a degree in Operations Research from MIT. In 2016 Payal was listed in Fortune's 40 under 40 list. About Ashley and Andy Williams Ashley and Andy Williams are home renovation experts and former stars of the HGTV series, “Flip or Flop Fort Worth.” Ashley served two combat tours in Iraq where she met Andy, a Marine, who was working in High Threat Diplomatic Protection. Andy, a licensed real estate agent, investor and social entrepreneur, leveraged real estate to successfully transition from military to civilian life. The couple married and continued to build their real estate portfolio while continuing to serve in Baghdad. After settling in Fort Worth, Ashley and Andy started their family and embarked on a mission to change the conversation on military transition with their public benefit corporation Recon Realty.
NASS Predicts Another Record-Breaking Almond Crop
MODESTO, Calif. – (May 10) – For the second year in a row, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is predicting a record California almond crop for the upcoming production year. According to the NASS 2019 California Almond Subjective Forecast issued today, California almond orchards are expected to produce 2.50 billion pounds of nuts this year, up 8.69% from last year’s 2.30 billion-pound crop. This forecast comes about two weeks after NASS released the 2018 California Almond Acreage Report, which estimated total almond acres for 2018 were up 2% from 2017 at 1.39 million acres. Bearing acres – orchards mature enough to produce a crop – were reported at 1.09 million acres, up 6% from the previous year. Looking ahead, NASS reported preliminary bearing acreage for 2019 at 1.17 million acres, up 7.3% from 2018. “I am excited by the future of the California almond industry. As our crop grows, our improvements in technology and innovative practices are growing with us, from advances in pest management that look beyond traditional applications to significant progress in water use efficiency. The Almond Orchard 2025 Goals highlight these successes and drive our industry to press onward towards the California almond farm of the future,” said Almond Board President and CEO Richard Waycott. The first of two reports for the upcoming crop, the Subjective Forecast is based on opinions obtained from randomly selected almond growers located throughout the state via a phone survey conducted in April and May. NASS asked growers to indicate their total almond yield per acre from last year and expected yield for the current year based on field observations. The sample of growers interviewed is grouped by size of operation, and different individuals are interviewed each year, allowing all growers to be represented. NASS then combines the yield estimates obtained from each grower and extrapolates the information to arrive at the numbers reported in the Subjective Forecast. While the Subjective Forecast provides early estimates of the upcoming crop after it is set, NASS’s 2019 California Almond Objective Report will provide a more precise estimate as it uses a more statistically rigorous methodology to determine yield. The report’s data is based on actual almond counts and measurements gathered from over 850 orchards throughout the state and includes the weight, size and grade of the average almond sample broken down by both growing district and variety. The California Almond Objective Report will be released on July 3, 2019, at 11:50 a.m. PDT. NASS conducts the Objective Report, the Subjective Forecast and the Acreage Report in order to provide the California almond industry with the data needed to make informed business decisions.  USDA-NASS. 2019 California Almond Subjective Forecast. May 2019.  USDA-NASS. 2018 California Almond Acreage Report. April 2019.
Almond Board, Global Technical & Regulatory Affairs (GTRA) team is constantly following the most up to date information that could affect the supply chain of almonds. Whether the issues affect growers domestically or handlers internationally, GTRA stays on top of it. Read the monthly Global Update newsletter to understand the most pertinent issues that are affecting global market access for almonds.
Each month, Almond Board of California publishes a position report, which contains the most recent almond trade statistics. Reference these reports to get the latest shipment information and understand the trends impacting the almond industry. The reports follow the Almond Board’s crop year (August 1 to July 31) which aligns with the almond crop production cycle. August, the beginning of harvest, marks the beginning of each new crop year and the following July position report rounds out the final shipment numbers for each year.
California Almond Acreage Increases in 2018
For More Information: Ashley Knoblauch email@example.com MODESTO, Calif. – USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports that California’s almond acreage continued to increase in 2018. Bearing acres, or orchards that have matured enough to produce a crop, are reported at 1.09 million acres, which is up 6 percent from 2017. Total almond acres for 2018 is estimated at 1.39 million acres, up 2 percent from the previous year.[i] With this increase, almond growers remain committed to continuous improvement, finding ways to responsibly produce more almonds to meet domestic demand (the U.S. is the largest market for almonds, with California-grown almonds making up 30% of the market) and global demand. Last year, the Almond Board of California (ABC) Board of Directors prioritized industry resources in four key areas that will ensure almonds remain as leaders in California agriculture as they work towards producing an economically, environmentally and socially responsible crop. These four key areas – water use, harvest dust reduction, environmentally friendly pest management, zero waste – ladder up to the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals, which build upon a history of significant industry achievements. For example, over the past two decades growers have reduced the amount of water it takes to grow a pound of almonds by 33%[ii]. In addition to achievements in the orchard, on the processing side there have been zero outbreaks of foodborne illness attributed to California almonds since the rollout of a groundbreaking pasteurization program a decade ago. In fact, earlier this month the Almond Board was selected to receive the GMA Food Safety Award from the International Association for Food Protection, in recognition of the Board’s “preeminence in and contributions to the field of food safety.” “The California almond industry continues to prove itself as a leader in responsible practices, from the orchard to the processor,” said Almond Board President and CEO Richard Waycott. “The Almond Orchard 2025 Goals act as a guidepost on our journey towards continued advancement and innovation throughout the industry. With the latest acreage numbers, we’re confident in our ability to continue to meet global demand and to provide the world with a high-quality product.” On Friday, May 10, 2019, NASS will release the 2019 Subjective Report, which provides an initial forecast of the upcoming crop. Data for the Subjective Report is based on opinions obtained from almond growers in a survey sent by NASS. Almond growers will soon receive the NASS survey and are encouraged to participate. For more information, growers may contact Bryce Spycher at firstname.lastname@example.org. [i] USDA-NASS. 2018 California Almond Acreage Report. April 2019. [ii] University of California, 2010. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2012. Almond Board of California, 1990-94, 2000-14
Could U.S. AG Take a Page from Almond Board?
Could U.S. ag take a page from almond board? by Todd Fitchette Panel finds common ground with environmental groups. Does the Almond Board of California (ABC) have a business model that other agricultural organizations – not just the commodity groups – might want to emulate? I think so. Since 1950 almond growers have voted by referendum to pay pennies per pound for the federal marketing order, which at its core seeks to “make California almonds essential to customers and consumers worldwide through innovative research, market development and industry support.” Though the mission rightly is to sell more almonds, what the organization does reaches beyond its orchards and board room. As a federal marketing order, the board is prohibited from political lobbying – hence its relationship with the Almond Alliance of California (AAC). The Almond Board provides scientific data and information which AAC, and any other organization that wishes to can use to promote California almonds. The Almond Board’s progressive approach to agriculture in general doesn’t just benefit almond growers. Its best management practices for bee handling promotes pollinator protection that benefits beekeepers and the crops they pollinate. Its work on water issues have a broader reach than the million-plus acres of almonds growing in the state. Last December an almond board representative speaking at the USA Rice Outlook Conference made some positive comments about California rice sustainability efforts and communications that were noticed. As California’s largest crop by acreage and its largest agricultural exporter, Daren Williams, the almond board’s senior director of global communications, says ABC Chief Executive Officer Richard Waycott’s internal message is one of leadership within agriculture. Within this focus are some interesting partnerships that perhaps not all agricultural groups would eagerly embrace, including Sustainable Conservation and the Environmental Defense Fund – yes, that EDF. On water, the partnership with Sustainable Conservation is critical because Williams sees Sustainable Conservation as able to do work that the Almond Board otherwise could not do. On its relationship with EDF, Williams admits there’s not going to be cross-platform agreement on all issues, but on the issues the two can agree upon. Williams says the board hopes to find common ground with the environmental organization that translates into wins for almonds and agriculture in general. What would it look like for U.S. agriculture if other ag associations had similar global views? Can the board’s success in maintaining demand ahead of an ever-growing supply be connected to this philosophy or was it simply the fortuitous result of landmark nutrition studies decades ago by an organization willing to spend money on good research? Could U.S. producer prices benefit from similar leadership and messages focusing on the positive global benefits of sustainable U.S. food and fiber production, and could agricultural in-fighting cease with similar efforts to seek common ground? I don’t pretend to have those answers, but from the perspective agricultural journalism and life experiences provide me, recognizing successful leadership within organizations such as the Almond Board of California is simple.
In The News
Almond Board Receives Prestigious Award for Outstanding Contributions to Food Safety
The Almond Board of California (ABC) has been selected to receive the GMA Food Safety Award from the International Association for Food Protection, in recognition of the Board’s “preeminence in and contributions to the field of food safety.” “This award is the culmination of many years and countless hours of work by ABC staff, researchers, and industry leaders to elevate California almonds to an honored, best of class, position in the field of food safety,” said Richard Waycott, president and CEO of the Almond Board.
In The News