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.