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California Avocado Commission promotes VP

California Avocado Commission - Ken Melban Promotion

IRVINE, Calif. – The California Avocado Commission BB #:145028 has promoted Ken Melban to vice president of industry affairs and operations. A produce veteran with extensive experience, Ken Melban joined the Commission in 2011 as director, issues management. In 2015 he was promoted to vice president, industry affairs.

“Ken has provided more than a decade of service at the California Avocado Commission and we are very pleased that he will continue to lead the Commission’s industry affairs programs, while taking on additional responsibilities for operations,” said CAC President, Jeff Oberman. “This expanded position aligns with our mission to maximize California avocado grower returns and to improve grower sustainability.”

Ken Melban is responsible for industry advocacy activities, issues management, production research and grower communications. He spearheaded the expansion of the California avocado export program, persisting to secure market access to China in 2020 after nine years of process and negotiation. Melban secured USDA Market Assessment funding and USDA Market Access Program grants to promote California avocados in South Korea, Japan and China.

Other highlights of his accomplishments to date at the Commission include sustainability initiatives, development of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for the California avocado industry, training and widespread adoption of the program.

In 2014 Melban was appointed by U.S. Trade Representative and USDA Secretary of Agriculture to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee in Washington D.C. and was reappointed in 2019. He advocates for California avocado growers and after the devastating Thomas fire in 2017 worked to expedite federal funding for impacted industry members. In his expanded role as vice president of industry affairs and operations, Melban also will manage financial and administrative operations of the organization.

Mr. Melban’s prior two decades of produce leadership experience included working with California commodity boards and the National Grape & Wine Initiative. He also was manager of the Statewide Spray Safe program. Melban was an adjunct professor at Fresno Pacific University where he received a Bachelor of Arts as well a Master of Arts degree in leadership and organizational studies. Throughout his career he has served with numerous community service organizations as well as with the California Department of Food and Agriculture Climate Change Adaptation Consortium and Ventura AG Futures Alliance.

About the California Avocado Commission

Created in 1978, the California Avocado Commission strives to enhance the premium positioning of California avocados through advertising, promotion and public relations, and engages in related industry activities. California avocados are cultivated with uncompromising dedication to quality and freshness, by about 3,000 growers in the Golden State. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry. Visit, join us at and @CA_Avocados on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, follow the California Avocado Commission page on LinkedIn or shop for California avocado merchandise at