How We Grow

2021 Sept/Oct How We Grow

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How the GTRA Team and TRAC Committee Keep Almonds in the Race A small, specialized group of professionals that neutralize issues before they become a big problem – often before anyone knows the wiser. The definition sounds more like it's describing a military unit than the Global, Technical and Regulatory Affairs (GTRA) team at the Almond Board of California. "We've always joked about being the black ops of the almond industry; that our success is getting things resolved before anybody even knows it happened," said Julie Adams, vice president and leader of the GTRA team. Adams and her team work closely with the Technical and Regulatory Affairs Committee, also known as TRAC. TRAC Chair and Monte Vista Farming Company CEO Jonathan Hoff agrees with the armed forces comparison, "That's exactly right. That's the black ops that are very acute in terms of what they're dealing with, very strategic, very under the radar and very low profile." All joking aside, the GTRA team does consists of six specialized individuals that are well-versed on issues that could have a negative impact on almonds making it to market both domestic and abroad. And Adams said they do work as one unit, each jumping in on issues where they need to, but more like a team sport rather than a covert operative. Keeping with the theme of the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, think "Team Decathlon". Most issues the GTRA team deals with are multifaceted. Policy changes downstream can have a major impact at the orchard level. "I think what's important is we look at it as a real continuum. So whatever is happening in the orchard, it's going to be affected by what happens at the other end of the supply chain and vice versa," Adams said. "If there are changes going on in Europe about what pesticides they accept, that's going to have an impact on what growers are doing in the orchard." The team consists of Gabriele Ludwig, Geoffrey Bogart, Jesse Roseman – and AROUND THE WORLD 11

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