Almond Board Establishes Organic Advisory Panel

The California organic almond industry now has a channel for providing guidance and recommendations to the Almond Board of California (ABC), following establishment of the Organic Advisory Panel (OAP). The new panel held its first meeting earlier this year, during which members elected officers and discussed issues of interest to organic almond growers and processors.

The OAP does not have the status of an ABC committee, but instead provides recommendations and input on topics of interest to the organic almond industry to the ABC's Board of Directors and relevant committees.

Brad Craven of Superior Almond Hulling, Cantua Creek, was elected chair of the panel, and Steve Koretoff, Purity Organics, a handler in Kerman, was elected vice chair.

Organic Advisory Panel meetings are public and can be attended by any interested industry member. On topics that affect the whole organic almond industry, particularly if there is no consensus, the Board may request a query of all organic almond growers and processors prior to adopting a recommendation presented by the panel.

At the first OAP meeting, members reviewed the history of Almond Board's funding of research related to organic management of pathogens and insect pests, as well as other research projects related to organic production.

The panel is also considering:

  • Comments on a proposed federal rule to establish an industry-funded promotion, research and information program for all certified organic products. The proposed program, the Organic Research, Promotion and Information Order, was submitted to the USDA by the Organic Trade Association (OTA);
  • Imported almonds – expand the proposed federal marketing order to include imports;
  • Monitoring statistics on imported almonds;
  • Research into postharvest fumigation options;
  • Shelf-life studies;
  • Production reporting;
  • New pasteurization technologies; and
  • Farm bill implications.

Further information about the Orangic Advisory Panel is available by contacting Bryce Spycher at bspycher@almondboard.com.

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The Handle