The Almond Hullers and Processors Association (AHPA) has a new vision and a brand new identity that was unveiled to those attending its annual convention April 27. AHPA will now be the Almond Alliance of California (AAC).
“Our message is very simple,” said AHPA President Kelly Covello. “The Almond Alliance of California is the only organization fully dedicated to advocating and protecting our members’ investment in the almond industry. A new focus means we are not the same organization. We continue to value and serve our core members, but our vision and name need to reflect a broader mandate.”
AHPA’s board has adopted a strategic vision that sees AAC becoming “The premier advocate dedicated to the California almond community.” The AAC will represent and serve growers, hullers/shellers, handlers, processors and allied industry partners. Currently there is no advocacy group dedicated solely to almonds.
The unveiling marks the culmination of more than a year of member consultation and a six-month strategic planning process by the organization’s leadership that drew on the expertise and wisdom of a broad cross-section of the leaders in the California almond community. The Almond Board of California and its board of directors and executive staff provided invaluable assistance in defining the critical issues of concern, mapping out where the two organizations intersect and where they operate independently.
“Our Memorandum of Agreement with the Almond Board of California (ABC) empowers us to pick up where ABC must leave off – advocating at any level of government – utilizing the investment growers have already made in research via the Almond Board to the fullest extent possible,” explained Covello.
AHPA Chairman Dick Cunningham said the lengthy strategic planning process was healthy for the organization and the almond community.
“It’s crystal clear that the need has never been greater for advocacy on behalf of our multi-billion dollar industry on issues ranging from fumigants, pesticides, and food safety to water and trade,” said Cunningham. “There is a need for a unified advocacy voice and leadership in the California almond industry. Our leadership firmly believes the time is now to act and ensure the sustainability and future success of the California almond community.”
The Almond Board of California (ABC) as a federal marketing order is specifically prohibited from lobbying but is able to educate and to provide important research information on a wide range of almond industry issues. Almond Board President and CEO Richard Waycott applauded the ACC’s new direction and focus.
“Both of our organizations are focused squarely on the California almond community,” pointed out Waycott. “The Almond Board is committed to collaboration and creating a synergy between the two organizations. We look forward to working with the ACC on issues of mutual concern so that we are complementing each other’s unique strengths.”
Convention attendees got a first-hand account of the major state legislative and regulatory issues facing the almond community on Wednesday when AHPA lobbyist Dennis Albiani of California Advocates addressed convention attendees.
“There continues to be a huge need for engagement by almond industry members on a wide range of legislative and regulatory issues,” said Albiani. “I look forward to helping the AAC make its voice heard in Sacramento.”
The Almond Huller and Processors Association of California is a trade association representing the interests of the California Almond industry including almond growers, hullers/shellers, and processors. For more information, visit www.ahpa.net.