The California Walnut Board (CWB) and the California Walnut Commission (CWC) have 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, Robert 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.
“We are excited to bring onboard an experienced strategic leader such as Robert, his background will well serve the California walnut industry. He has the unique experience of leadership roles as a grower/shipper of highly perishable produce and in commodity organizations. Robert understands the challenge to ‘move the crop.’ In addition, he has extensive knowledge and creativity as a marketer working in complex domestic and international markets,” said Bill Tos, the California Walnut Board’s Executive Committee Chairperson.
“I am looking forward to working with the staff, the two Boards (CWB and CWC), and the growers and handlers that make up the California walnut industry. In collaboration with the growers and handlers we must respond to rapidly evolving market conditions with a sense of urgency and purpose and continue to build an ongoing dialogue with key customer segments in order to drive sales in all market segments,” added Verloop. “I am also keenly aware of the multi-generational nature of an industry dating back more than a century. The new generations are inheriting a dynamic industry that continues to evolve through innovation, starting with new advances in orchard management practices, post-harvest management, and developing new consumer products that showcase the versatility of California walnuts.”