Submit Comments Online to Oppose Change
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), working with the Almond Board of California, has proposed regulations that would prohibit internet sales of raw almonds by growers (farmers) under a federal exemption (7 CFR 981.13, “Handler”) currently allowing growers to sell their own production at a roadside stand. Until now AMS has interpreted the roadside stand exemption to include internet transactions.
The proposed regulation (87 FR 9455)—titled Modification of Marketing Order Regulations for Almonds Grown in California (California is the only state with a commercial almond industry)—states that the e-commerce sales of almonds are not eligible for the roadside stand exemption. Excluding internet sales under the exemption will likely lead to a number of small growers going out of business and will restrict consumer choice for those wanting to buy raw almonds direct from a farmer.
Please tell AMS to keep e-commerce under the exemption.
ACTION TO TAKE
1. Submit comments to AMS telling it not to exclude e-commerce under the roadside stand exemption. The deadline for comments is July 7 before midnight Thursday (11:59pm eastern). Talking Points and more information is below. For simplicity, use this link to submit your comment; you may also attach documents at
2. Call and/or write your U.S. Representative and both Senators requesting that they ask AMS not to exclude Internet sales of almonds from the exemption. You can find who represents you at:
1. Excluding e-commerce under the roadside stand exemption will put small almond growers out of business, with many of their customers living far enough away that they can obtain almonds from the farm only through internet purchases. In the words of one grower, “Internet sales save me a ton of time and literally make it possible to be economically viable. If the proposed rule-making is adopted by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), we are certainly out of business.”
2. The proposed regulation would limit consumer choice; most raw almond consumers do not live near a farm producing them and would be hurt if there is an e-commerce ban, resulting in decreased access to a food many consumers consider important for their health.
The public comment period was reopened June 22nd for other changes and this allows the opportunity to submit more comments opposing changes to 981.13 but the deadline is Thursday 11:59pm eastern, July 7th. The Docket ID is AMS-SC-21-0076 which will be tagged when you submit comments through the online portal.
7 CFR 981.13 excludes from the definition of “Handler” any “grower who sells only almonds of his own production at retail at a roadside stand operated by him.”
Proposed rule originally issued February 22, 2022 (87 FR 9455) would alter 7 CFR 981.13 to exclude e-commerce —the summary states:
Section 981.13 of the Order defines the term “handler.” The definition includes an exemption for roadside stand sales. Section 981.413 of the Order’s administrative requirements further expounds roadside stand sales by setting certain conditions that must be met for sales to be exempted from regulation under the Order. This proposed rule would add language to the requirements to clarify that sales of almonds through E-commerce (electronic commerce) are not exempt from regulation under the roadside stand exemption.🖨️ Print post