Protecting California’s Pollinators

Almond Alliance of California Joins With Diverse Group of Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resource Organizations to Protect California’s Pollinators

Alliance Sponsoring AB 391 to Provide Critical Funding for Pollinator Habitat

The Almond Alliance of California (AAC) is joining with a broad array of organizations from across California’s agricultural and environmental landscape to form the California Pollinator Coalition to address a shared commitment to the health of pollinators. The Coalition is focusing on increasing the value working lands provide to our environment while benefitting biodiversity and farmers alike.

“It’s a simple fact that without honey bees, there would be no almonds. The Almond Alliance strongly supports this collaborative effort to increase habitat for pollinators on working lands,” said Alliance Chairman Mike Curry.

The Alliance is sponsoring AB 391 California Pollinator Conservation Funding, authored by Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton). This bill will provide critically needed funding for activities that accelerate the adoption of conservation practices designed to integrate pollinator habitat and forage on working lands. “California almond farmers know that every almond exists because a honey bee visited an almond blossom,” explained Curry. “Honey bees and other pollinators need a varied and nutritious diet. This bill will help growers implement those important conservation practices that benefit honey bees as they forage for pollen and nectar in the orchard. The Almond Alliance is proud to sponsor this bill and looks forward to working with its partners for the bill’s successful passage in the California legislature.”

Assemblymember Villapuda noted the importance of protecting pollinators. “Pollinators are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food,” he explained. “They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce. Working lands offer an opportunity to expand habitat and forage for pollinators which will help sequester carbon and contribute to climate risk reduction. To further engage growers in delivering solutions that benefit pollinators, state investment is critical for activities that accelerate the adoption of conservation practices that integrate pollinator habitat and forage on working lands.”

AB 391 will appropriate $5 million dollars to provide funding to a variety of agencies to deliver technical assistance, outreach and grants to incentivize participation in state and federal conservation programs where pollinator habitat and forage is established.

The California Pollinator Coalition, convened by Pollinator Partnership, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Almond Board of California, includes more than twenty organizations – representing the large majority of California’s crop and rangeland – pledging to increase habitat for pollinators on working lands. Together, the goal is to increase collaboration between agriculture and conservation groups for the benefit of biodiversity and food production. The result will be on-the-ground improvements, technical guidance, funded research, documentation of relevant case studies, and track progress toward increasing healthier pollinator habitats.

Current California Pollinator Coalition membership includes:

Agricultural Council of California
Almond Alliance of California
Almond Board of California
California Alfalfa and Forage Association
California Association of Pest Control Advisers
California Association of Resource Conservation Districts
California Cattlemen’s Association
California Citrus Mutual
California Department of Food and Agriculture
California Farm Bureau Federation
California State Beekeepers Association
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
Environmental Defense Fund
Monarch Joint Venture
Monarch Watch
Pollinator Partnership
Project Apis m.
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service of California
Western Growers
Dr. Neal Williams, University of California, Davis

Almond Alliance– A Big Advocate

The Almond Alliance is Major Advocate For the Entire Almond Industry


By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

Elaine Trevino is President of the Almond Alliance. “The Almond Alliance is the trade association and is membership-based for the California Almond Industry,” she said. “We exist to advocate for almond growers, hullers, shellers, handlers and processors. We do the political work and the political advocacy with both state legislators federal agencies, and of course, Congress in D.C.,” Trevino said.

“So we’re very active and making sure that the industry is receiving access to all the programs that it needs to,” said Trevino. “We’re very active in working with state and federal legislators on legislation and policies that impact agriculture, specifically almonds. We’ve been very active to make sure that the USDA and Congress are aware of the damages to the almond industry regarding COVID, and that the almond industry receives their fair share of help through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP),” she said.
The Almond Alliance constantly fights for the almond industry. “And we also tell the story of the almond industry to ensure that, elected officials and stakeholders are aware of the value, both economically, job-wise, tax-wise, nutrition-wise, and food-wise. We want to be aware of the benefit of the industry to the overall economy, to the state, to the world,” she said.


Elaine Trevino Given USDA Appointment

Almond Alliance President Appointed to USDA Agricultural Trade Policy Advisory Committee 

News Release

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer have appointed Almond Alliance President Elaine Trevino to the USDA Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade.

The Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee provides advice and information to the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative on the administration of trade policy, including enforcement of existing trade agreements and negotiating objectives for new trade agreements.almond crop

“I am honored to be appointed to this prestigious agricultural trade policy committee,” Trevino said. “Given the almond industry’s dependence on global trade health, this position is an important one to ensure there is a continued strong presence at the table for California almonds.”

Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure a private-sector voice in establishing U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives to reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative jointly manage the committee.

Almond Growers Helped In Trade Dispute

Almond Grower and Board Chair Holly King Attends White House Briefing with President

News Release

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 the support of farmers and ranchers impacted by delayed negotiations and trade disruption with China.

Almond Board Chair Holly A. King attended a briefing at the White House recently with President Donald J. Trump and representatives from other major farm groups to discuss the trade mitigation

“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,” King said. “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 a significant decline in shipments to China, our third-largest export market,” said Adams. “Getting back to normal trade is critical.”

Almond Alliance Fights for Growers

Almond Alliance Shares Grower Interest with Almond Board

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor

California almond growers are well represented by the Almond Alliance. Elaine Trevino, president of the Modesto-based Almond Alliance, explained the difference between the Almond Alliance and the Almond Board to California Ag Today recently.

“We have a very different structure,” she said. Almond Board’s budget is based on a mandatory assessment. They cannot do use their dollars for advocacy or political involvement. And so the Almond Alliance was created to help fill that void.”

The Almond Alliance is a membership-based organization. One big issue that California almond growers are facing is water allocation. It is very important to understand federal and state in terms of oversight.

Elaine Trevino

“Water is so complex, and right when you think you understand it, you realize that you don’t,” Trevino said.

She thinks their congressional delegation has worked very hard to fight for the agriculture industry. They call it a water fix.

The water infrastructure in California was designed when the population was one-third of what it is today.

“Until some of those hard discussions of growth and development and storage happen, it’s just going to be continual band-aids and fixes, and it definitely needs to be something much more,” Trevino said.

This is going to take some real leadership and a lot of people have been working very hard at this.

“I’m a big supporter of DeeDee D’Adamo, a member of the California State Water Resources Control Board, because she continues to fight for ag. She is very knowledgeable, especially when there is a water shortage,” Trevino said.

“Until we can start having some of those discussions about above ground water storage and general water use for the state of California, we’re gonna just be putting band-aids on really big problems,” she explained.

Almond Alliance Advances Almond Issues

Alliance Advocates for Almond Industry

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director


The Almond Board of California does many great things for the California almond industry, most notably marketing annually about two billion pounds of almonds—both domestically and internationally. But there is one thing the Almond Board cannot do, and that is lobby on behalf of this big industry.

Kelly Covello, president of the Almond Alliance
Kelly Covello, president of the Almond Alliance

Enter the Almond Alliance of California (AAC) on August 1, 2016. Formerly known as the Almond Hullers and Processors Association (AHPA) and established in 1980, this renamed and revitalized trade organization is the only trade association fully dedicated to advocating for and protecting members’ investment in the almond industry. The AAC will represent and serve growers, hullers/shellers, handlers, processors and allied industry partners.

Kelly Covello, president of the Almond Alliance, said, “Over the last year, we’ve done some strategic planning with the Almond Board so that we can complement one another’s activities. The Almond Board cannot lobby or advocate, and the trade association—the Almond Alliance—can.” Nevertheless, Covello said, “the industry has invested in the Almond Board through their assessment and has great resources available in terms of expertise, data [and] research that we can use to support our policy positions.”

For nearly 100 years, the almond industry has been active in California without a dedicated political voice. “The trade association has always been able to advocate on issues when necessary. The industry has grown; we’re over a million acres now. With the increase in acreage, the number of issues, the visibility and the scrutiny of our industry has dramatically increased,” Covello said.

Ms. Covello currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Agricultural Council of California and serves on two Almond Board of California (ABC) committees: the Almond Quality & Food Safety Committee and the Technical and Regulatory Affairs Committee.