Blue Diamond Almond Facts November-December 2021


Government Affairs session panelists included Administrator Daniel Whitley, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), USDA, Administrator Bruce Summers, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), USDA, and Lynn Jacquez, Principal and Of Counsel, JPH Law Firm. The panel gave expert advice on climate change initiatives, investment programs that assist businesses, and how to find support amid the pandemic.

How Emerging Climate Policy Could Impact California Almond Industry

With increasing demands from legislators, media and climate activists for individuals, business and agriculture to reduce their carbon footprints, state and federal policymakers continue to enact ever more restrictive policies affecting agriculture. The effect those policies could have on the California almond industry was the topic of a panel consisting of two USDA administrators and Blue Diamond ’s legislative and regulatory representative in Washington, D.C.

point of view across and that several partnerships on the issue were formed. An Aim for Climate initiative emerged to “take advantage of the political will to accelerate investment in climate change practices, sustainability practices, and reduction of greenhouse gases and emissions for decades to come,” he said. Administrator Whitley acknowledged that farmers and ranchers across the country and in California, particularly, are leading the way in adopting sustainability practices. He also stated that the USDA believes American agriculture should be equipped with the innovation, tools, and technology available to help achieve such goals as President Biden’s “Net Zero (carbon) by 2050.” Other countries and advocacy groups are pushing to limit tools and resources for agriculture. “At FAS, we think science supports various approaches to achieving sustainability goals,” Administrator Whitley countered. The agency is aggressively promoting the work that American farmers are doing towards sustainable food production as an example for other countries to learn from, he explained, and FAS remains alert to any effort by other countries “to erect trade barriers disguised as good climate change politics.” Addressing long term implications of emerging climate policy and trends, Administrator Whitley predicted, “We think a market-based incentive will emerge. Consumers will want foods verified to have been produced sustainably. There will be demand for it.”

Administrator Daniel Whitley, FAS within USDA, reported, after attending the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, in October and November 2021, that “the stars have aligned around the world” on the issue of climate change and that

Administrator Daniel Whitley, FAS, USDA

the world is coming together to address it in a meaningful way. “It is clear that there is a lot of momentum to address climate change and that agriculture will lead the way,” he reported. Administrator Whitley noted that the COP26 participants do not agree on every aspect of how to address the perceived threat of climate change nor do they agree on the science around the issue, but he feels that the large US delegation was successful in getting the US government’s

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