Referendum affirms continuation of California Avocado Commission
The California Department of Food and Agriculture recently completed a state-mandated referendum vote that determined the California Avocado Commission is approved to continue in operation for the next five years. By law, a continuation vote among eligible commercial California avocado producers must be held every five years. This year’s voting results showed that 75 percent of voting producers support continuation of CAC for another five years, well above the legally required percentage.
This is the ninth reaffirming referendum since the establishment of the California Avocado Commission in 1978.
“California avocado growers have clearly affirmed the value they see in the California Avocado Commission,” said Rob Grether, chairman of the CAC board of directors. “This vote allows the board and management of the commission to continue their critical work of bolstering grower viability through innovative marketing, industry affairs, production research and grower education.”
This referendum is the first in which the voting was held among California’s commercial avocado producers only. In 2017 the law that governs the California Avocado Commission was amended to exempt growers of California avocados who produce an annual average of less than 10,000 pounds of avocados in the prior three years from paying the mandatory assessments that fund the commission operations and programs. Consequently, those exempt growers are not eligible to vote in CAC elections and referenda.
“What was unknown was any potential effect exempting smaller growers might have in a referendum vote, as there were significantly fewer eligible voters this year,” said Tom Bellamore, CAC president. “We are pleased that the 2021 results once again affirmed the industry’s support for the commission and its work, which has benefited California avocado growers for more than four decades and will continue to do so.”