IRVINE, CALIF. - Every five years the California Department of Food and Agriculture holds a state-mandated referendum vote to provide California avocado growers the opportunity to determine whether the California Avocado Commission will be reapproved to continue for the next five years. 

“The referendum process is a vital component of the law that established the California Avocado Commission,” said Rob Grether, chairman of the CAC board of directors. “It provides growers the opportunity to cast their vote on continuing the operations of the organization.” 

Ballots will be mailed to eligible California avocado commercial producers on Feb. 16 and must be postmarked and sent to CDFA for tallying by March 17. Eligible commercial producers who do not receive a ballot should contact the CDFA Marketing Branch staff at 916-900-5018. Results are expected to be tallied by CDFA and announced no later than March 31. 

“The California Avocado Commission exists to support California avocado growers and is governed by a board of directors comprised of their peers to ensure good stewardship of grower funds,” said Tom Bellamore, president of CAC.  

The Commission focuses on fostering grower viability by building demand for California avocados at a price premium and increasing the fruit’s perceived value, preference and loyalty. About 70% of CAC’s current budget goes toward marketing, which includes developing strategic, targeted programs with retailers and foodservice operators. Other key activities include advocating for California avocado growers on issues such as water, trade and export, supporting production research and grower education. 

There have been eight reaffirming referenda since the establishment of the California Avocado Commission in 1978.