The California Walnut Board (CWB) and the California Walnut Commission (CWC) announced that Robert Verloop has been named executive director and chief executive officer, effective July 11, 2022. The CWB and CWC represent over 4,500 California walnut growers and nearly 90 handlers, producing over 1.4 billion pounds of walnuts in 2021 that ship to more than 50 countries around the world.
Verloop recently held the position of COO for Coastline Family Farms, a family-owned vegetable grower/shipper. Previously, he held executive/ leadership roles with Naturipe Farms/Naturipe Brands, Sunkist Growers Inc., and the California Avocado Commission. In those capacities, Verloop worked in such areas as marketing and sales promotions in retail, foodservice and ingredient channels in domestic and global markets; issues management; strategic planning; and government relations, working with various state and federal agencies, including USDA, FAS/ATO, CDFA, and FDA.
The CWB and the CWC play a vital role in expanding walnut usage occasions and understanding walnuts’ health benefits, solving for production and post-harvest challenges, protecting the industry against burdensome regulations, and building demand for California walnuts globally. Despite current supply-chain challenges, there is rising demand for walnuts given their versatility and wide range of studied health benefits. Interest in plant-based eating around the globe is an opportunity for walnuts, which contain protein and fiber, and are the only nut that is an excellent source of essential plant-based omega-3 ALA.