IRVINE, Calif., April 17, 2009 — The Hass Avocado Board (HAB), which conducts generic avocado marketing for foreign and domestic suppliers, has scheduled its annual board elections. The HAB also has reaffirmed its proactive policy of seeking board members who reflect the demographics of the avocado industry while supporting the Board’s diversity goals.
In mid-April, announcement of open seats will be mailed to all eligible producers and importers, with a deadline for receipt of nomination forms on May 15. The HAB expects to mail ballots to producers and importers by May 29 with a June 30 deadline. In July, two nominee names for each open seat will be submitted to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The Secretary shall select the producer and importer members and alternates of the Board. New members will be seated at the board meeting in November.
“The HAB will make every effort to emphasize the selection of qualified persons for Board and committee positions without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status, or other basis protected by law,” said Jose Luis Obregon, Managing Director. “Not only is this the right thing to do, but it also reflects the reality of our international supplier community. HAB wants a broad and diverse membership and is encouraging women, minorities and persons with disabilities to seek nomination to the Board and committees and to actively participate,” he said.
In addition to regular monitoring of board composition, the HAB will encourage diversity by publishing information about the policy prior to board elections, ensuring notification in internal and trade publications.
The Hass Avocado Board was established in 2002 after approval by producers and importers of Hass avocados in a national referendum. Operating under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the HAB has contracted with the California Avocado Commission (CAC) to implement its marketing programs. Both producers and importers are involved in the HAB, which covers fresh domestic and imported Hass avocados sold in the U.S. market.