(April 29, 12:34 p.m.) Nominations must be submitted by May 9 for the five positions up for appointment this year to the Hass Avocado Board, Irvine, Calif.

“We’ve been receiving a large number of nominations, which reflects how the industry values being a part of the board and sharing expertise,” said Jose Luis Obregon, the board’s managing director.

The volume of hass avocados sold domestically has more than doubled in the past seven years, Obregon said, from 500 million pounds to more than 1 billion pounds in each of the past two years.

The board’s makeup is dictated by federal law. Three of the seven seats earmarked for domestic producers are to be filled this year as are two of the five seats dedicated to importers, Obregon said. In addition, an alternate will be appointed for each of the five seats, he said.

“Incumbents may not automatically run for reappointment to the board,” Obregon said. “They must go through the same process as the other nominees.”

Ballots will be mailed to producers and importers by the end of May and must be returned by June 30, Obregon said. Each domestic producer is entitled to one vote as is each importer who paid assessments to the board, he said. The names of the two nominees receiving the most votes for each board seat and alternate’s position will be submitted in July to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture who will select the members and alternates, Obregon said.

The new members are scheduled to be seated at the Hass Avocado Board’s November meeting.

The large number of early nominations was particularly promising, Obregon said, because board members serve on a strictly voluntary basis and receive no compensation.