The Role of the Almond Board of California
To assist the Secretary in the operation of this programme, the Marketing Order establishes a 10-member Board, selected by 1st March each year. The board is composed of five handler members and five grower members. Of the 10 members, two represent cooperative handlers, two represent handlers that are not associated with a cooperative, two members represent cooperative growers and two represent growers not associated with a cooperative. The fifth handler member and the fifth grower member are selected by and represent the group (whether cooperative or other than cooperative), which received more than 50% of the almonds delivered by growers in the then-current crop year through 31st December.
The Board is responsible for administering the provisions of the Marketing Order. This includes making rules and regulations, investigating complaints of violations, recommending amendments to the Marketing Order, and other functions necessary to the operation of the programme.
All actions of the Board are by majority vote, with a minimum requirement of six members. There are two voting exceptions:
- Recommendations to the secretary concerning production research, marketing research and development projects, and marketing promotion, including paid advertising, and crediting the pro-rata expense assessment obligation of handlers require seven affirmative votes; and
- Recommendations concerning saleable and reserve percentages and related crop estimates require six affirmative votes.
The Almond Handler (Processors or Packers)
All handlers of almonds (known as 'Badam' in India) are under the jurisdiction of the Marketing Order. A handler is an individual, partnership, corporation, association or any other business unit that uses almonds commercially; that is, to sell, consign, transport, ship (except as a common carrier) or in any other way put almonds into the channels of trade, either within the state of California or outside of the state. Handlers are required to register with the Almond Board of California (ABC) on an annual basis, and agree to abide by the Marketing Order Rules and Regulations.
As requested by the Board and detailed in the Marketing Order, each handler shall file with the Board written reports, certified to the Board and the secretary as to completeness and correctness, such information as may be prescribed by the Board for use in redetermination of kernel weight and marketing policy considerations. All information contained in handler records made available to the Board or to the secretary, or in reports to the Board constituting a trade secret or disclosing the trade position, financial condition or business operations of any handler shall be considered as confidential information.
Almond handlers are required to have an official USDA incoming inspection to determine the amount of edible and inedible kernels in each lot of almonds delivered.
Almond Board Assessment
The Board is authorized to incur such expenses as the secretary may find reasonable for the maintenance and function of the Board. Each handler pays to the Board, on demand, a sum based on a rate per pound of almonds, kernel weight basis, received for his own account.
Handlers are billed four times per year for assessments: November, January, April and August.
The expenses of production research, market research and development projects, and nutrition research are included in the pro-rata assessment levied on handlers.
The assessment rate for the 2014/2015 crop year is $0.030 per pound.
Quality Control Programme
At the time almonds are received for the handler’s own account, either from growers, accumulators or of their own production, handlers’ are required to have the Federal-State Inspection Service determine the percent of inedible kernels in each variety received. The weight of inedible kernels in excess of 0.5% of kernel weight reported to the Board of any variety received by a handler shall constitute the weight of that handler’s disposition obligation to be delivered to the Board, a crusher, feed manufacturer or feeder approved by the Board.