Hass Avocado Board Elections Scheduled; Board Reaffirms Proactive Diversity Policy

IRVINE, Calif., April 16, 2010 – 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 14. The HAB expects to mail ballots to producers and importers by May 28 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 (HAB) was established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass avocados in the United States. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass avocados directs the HAB’s promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Hass avocados are grown in California and imported into the US from Mexico, Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic and New Zealand.