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ABC, Almond Alliance – Explaining Who Does What



Over the years, it became evident that the size and scope of the California almond industry was going to continue to grow. It also became evident that the idea of such a large and impactful industry having no voice with regard to laws and regulations that potentially determine its success was unacceptable.

As a Federal Marketing Order, the Almond Board of California (ABC) is precluded from taking any actions that might influence legislation or policy. This means that no assessment funds can be used to influence legislative or government policymakers. ABC has strictly followed this direction throughout the years. 

But the question remained: Who can be the voice for California almonds in the legislative and regulatory world? Who can sit at the table when decisions are being made?

In 2013, the answer became clear: ABC would team up with the Almond Alliance of California (Almond Alliance) formerly the Almond Hullers and Processors Association (AHPA), under a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that allowed ABC to provide invaluable expertise in defining the critical issues of concern, providing technical expertise and where they operate independently. The Almond Alliance can pick up where ABC must leave off – advocating at any level of government – and utilize the investment growers had already made in research and data development via ABC to the fullest extent possible. The Almond Alliance is fully dedicated to advocating for the almond industry, including growers, huller, shellers and processors.

Today, ABC and the Almond Alliance continue to collaborate in their roles advancing the interests of the industry: ABC as a marketing order and the Almond Alliance as an industry association. What does that look like in practice? 

ABC and the Almond Alliance are the only organizations in California established solely to support the almond industry, and while very different in their organizational structures, they complement one another. The Almond Alliance, through the MOA, leverages the knowledge and expertise that ABC staff has gained through years of research, engagement, and relationship management to support the organization’s advocacy efforts. Also, the MOA provides a mechanism whereby the Almond Alliance can contract for ABC staff advice and expertise on key issues.

Below is a graphic that delineates the roles of both groups, with the Almond Board conducting education while the Almond Alliance focuses on advocacy:


The MOA leverages the strengths of both organizations with the common goal of doing what is best for the greater California almond community. ABC and the Almond Alliance have worked on together on many issues under the MOA including:

  • Pollinator issues including development of best practices regarding pollinator habitat and health and advocating for government funding to support these efforts.
  • COVID-19 relief for the almond industry by advocating for the inclusion of almonds in both of USDA’s Coronavirus Farm Assistance Programs then providing the webinars and educational materials to assist growers in applying, as well as advocating for almonds addition to the Section 32 Commodity Procurement Program.
  • Agriculture burning by researching and promoting alternatives such as Whole Orchard Recycling and then advocating for the industry before local and state air boards for additional funding to support existing and evolving alternatives.
  • Shipping delays due to container shortages by monitoring FMC responses and then advocating to congress and the Administration regarding solutions.  
  • Retaliatory tariffs’ the impact on almond shipments globally and communicate the damages and impacts to the Administration.

The Almond Board and the Almond Alliance will continue to build upon the MOA to ensure that a unified almond grower, huller/sheller, and handler voice is heard on issues of critical importance to the almond community.

With questions regarding the differing roles of these organizations or to learn more about what these groups are doing on the industry’s behalf, please contact Bunnie Ibrahim, senior analyst in Government Affairs at ABC, at