The California Avocado Commission (CAC) has been notified by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) that the recently completed 2010-11 referendum of California Avocado growers has affirmed continuation of operations of the Commission. By law, a vote must be conducted every five years. In order for CAC to continue, a majority of those producers voting must vote in favor of continuation. The final results showed that 76 percent of the voting producers support continuation of CAC for another five years, well above the simple majority requirement.

CAC’s programs are focused on both marketing and industry affairs, and are funded through a mandatory assessment from all producers in the state.

“It is gratifying to have the growers affirm their support for the direction of the Commission. The favorable vote clearly demonstrates the value they see in this organization,” said Tom Bellamore, president, California Avocado Commission. “The Board and management of the Commission take seriously the responsibility of building consumer demand through effective marketing, supporting grower viability through industry affairs and production research programs as well as efficiently managing the operations of the organization. We are grateful to the California avocado industry for believing in CAC’s mission, and we thank all who have worked tirelessly to strengthen and support this organization’s value to the grower community.”

According to Bellamore, the industry must now redouble its efforts to ensure its viability over the next five years. Guided by CAC’s strategic imperatives, announced in 2010, the Commission continues to remain focused on building the California avocado brand and increasing consumer demand through its Hand Grown in California campaign that tells the story of real California avocado growers.  Bellamore added that he expects to announce key initiatives that challenge the industry to modernize, innovate, and expand at CAC’s board meeting later this month.

“On the production side, increasing average yield is imperative, as are advancements in good agricultural practices. The market will continue to reward California avocado growers for the exceptional fruit they produce, as long as we deliver value to the consumer in the form of a premium quality product. And our brand-building efforts must stay on the leading edge of marketing.”

Bellamore was appointed president of CAC in 2009 following the resignation of the former CEO. Under his leadership, the Commission was reorganized and refocused to bring value to the grower by occupying a premium marketplace position for California avocados while operating under the highest and most prudent of fiscal standards.