The Board of Directors of the Almond Board of California (ABC) officially began its new term on August 1. The ABC Board of Directors plays a significant role in the industry, setting policy and approving budgets for research, reporting, advertising, quality control, and food safety. ABC President and CEO Richard Waycott expressed his gratitude for the individuals newly elected and continuing to serve the industry.
“Alexi Rodriguez from Campos Brothers is our new Chair, and George Goshgarian Jr. will be serving his second year as our Vice Chair. New on the Board is Brandon Rebiero from Gold Leaf, who was an alternate but was elected in the last election cycle to be a full Board member for three years,” said Waycott. “Then we have two new alternates. We have Kelli Evans from Blue Diamond Growers who’s representing them, and then Katie Staack from Grizzly Nut who’s representing her company and the growers. So, it’s just great to have so much interest in our board seats and new folks coming in.”
The 10-member ABC board is comprised of five grower members and five handler members representing both independent and cooperative operations. Grower members include Paul Ewing with RPAC, LLC, Joe Gardiner with Treehouse California Almonds, and Christine Gemperle from Gemperle Orchards. Handler members include Bob Silveira of Vann Family Orchards, Darren Rigg from Minturn Nut Co. Inc., and Mel Machado and Alicia Rockwell, both from Blue Diamond Growers. Waycott said that the ABC Board of Directors is beginning the new term in the midst of some substantial challenges, but there is optimism for the year ahead.
“The carryout we see from the last crop year having diminished considerably from where we thought it was going to be earlier in the year thanks to those larger export shipments, we are resolving this. But the pain is still there and it’s not going to go away until we get better pricing, until oil prices continue to drop, until freight rates continue to drop, etcetera,” Waycott noted. “So, I don’t know how long that’s going to take but at least we are experiencing the shipments and other issues that we must experience to get ourselves out of the situation we’ve been in.”
Listen to Waycotts’s interview below.