The California Apple Commission
Based in Fresno, the California Apple Commission (CAC) was founded in 1994 as a state commission by the California State Legislature. The CAC was formerly known as the California Apple Association and the California Granny Smith Association, which was founded in 1986, before it grew to its present status.
The California Apple Commission was created to administer the state marketing order program for California apples. This program operates under state enabling legislature and the California Marketing Act of 1937. In 2006, the CAC adopted a Strategic Action Plan that assists the Commission by addressing several of the challenges that the fresh apple industry faces. By 2010, the Commission revisited their program, updating the focuses as issues changed.
Thanks to the Commission, California apple producers may now ship to over 27 different countries including: Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan, and Panama. Additionally, the CAC has succeeded and continues to succeed in conducting research in vital pre- and post-harvest practice, provide unified industry voice on apple matters, assist in protecting California apple producers from harmful pests and diseases, develop, inform, and monitor standardization and provide key apple industry market information to the industry.
By state law, all commercial apple growers which produce more than 40,000 pounds of apples must join the California Apple Commission. The Commission is then funded by a 24 cent assessment on each 40-pound box of apples produced by the member growers. The Commission’s budget averages $700,000 per year.
The Commission is governed by a 13-member board of directors and 4 alternates. Each director is elected by California apple growers to serve a four-year term. The state is divided into three regions, with each region electing three growers, one handler and one alternate to the board. Thus, the board is comprised of a total of nine producers, three handlers, three alternate producers, and one public member and alternate. The board meets an average of three to four times a year.
The California Apple Commission has a full time staff of three: Executive Director/President - Alexander Ott, Director of Trade & Technical Affairs - Todd Sanders, and Administrative Assistant - Janette Ramos.
California Apple Statistics
The California apple industry generates over $105,000,000
California is the 5th largest producer of apples in the United States
California is the 2nd largest exporter of apples in the United States
75% of apples produced are shipped domestic with the remaining 25% exported
California has almost 14,000 acres dedicated exclusively to apples
California exports to over 27 different countries including Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan, and Panama
California produces four main varieties: Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Cripps Pink
California’s harvest season lasts from July to October