Richard Waycott, President and CEO of the Almond Board of California, launched its new Almond Board blog, almonds.com, TODAY, with the inaugural post (dated 7/22/14), “The Almond Board of California is a What? Understanding Federal Marketing Orders.”
Back in 1950, almond growers asked the United States Department of Agriculture to approve a Federal Marketing Order, so they could all work together to improve the quality and marketing of their crop. The Almond Board of California was born. A lot has changed since our establishment 64 years ago, including a name change (we used to be called the Almond Control Board) and the broadening of our programs from what initially was just quality standards compliance. Today, we call ourselves an agricultural promotion group.
In their current form, agricultural promotion groups are made up of farmers – in our case growers and handlers – who work together to educate consumers and to research, innovate and promote what they produce.
While you may have never heard of us before, these groups are part of an American tradition and are ingrained in our culture. Whether it’s the dancing California raisins, “Got Milk?,” “Incredible Edible Egg,” “Pork: The Other White Meat” or “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner,” agricultural promotion groups have created and funded these campaigns. (By the way, have you seen our own “Crunch On” ad campaign that was launched in 2013?)
Different ag promotion groups work in different ways, but essentially they are founded and funded by industry members. They are not funded by taxpayers, which is an occasional misconception. Each year almond handlers contribute money to fund Almond Board marketing and research programs. We develop our own programs and direct our own research, with the USDA providing oversight and review of all external messaging, to make sure they are accurate and comply with FDA and FTC regulations.
At the Almond Board of California, we have worked hard not only to help our favorite nut overcome certain negative perceptions due to their oil content, but more importantly to become the number one nut that surveyed North American consumers associate with being nutritious and heart healthy.*† By creating demand for almonds, we work to build global markets for California Almond growers and handlers.
In terms of research, we have funded $42 million in almond quality and food safety, nutrition, environmental, and production research since 1973. From developing a new nutritional supplement for our pollinators – the honeybee – to improving water efficiency by 33 percent per pound of almonds produced over the last two decades, the Almond Board constantly strives to be a stellar guardian of the natural resources that almond growers and handlers employ to produce one of the finest foods in the world.
Click here to learn more about the Almond Board of California.
*ABC North American Attitudes, Awareness and Usage Study, 2013
†Good news about almonds and heart health. Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces of almonds as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and 1g of saturated fat.