California Almond Industry Working to Meet Demand for Healthy, Shelf-Stable Almonds and Almond Products
Agriculture is a designated essential industry. As such, California agriculture is continuing to produce healthy, fresh food. Workers in every segment of the food production chain are designated as "Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers" by the Department of Homeland Security and California State Public Health Officer as they are "critical to maintaining and securing our food supply." On March 16 the President issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America stating explicitly that food supply is a "critical infrastructure industry," and that workers in this sector "have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule." This includes the 104,000 hardworking men and women who grow, process, and transport almonds around the globe.
The California almond industry is working to keep stores and pantries stocked to meet the increased demand for healthy, shelf-stable almonds and almond products. As we continue to produce food we are also focused on protecting the health of our families and employees, following the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of COVID-19 many of which are already the basis for the almond industry's Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has clearly stated that COVID-19 is not a food safety risk, almond processors continue to implement enhanced employee and facility sanitation practices to ensure food safety.
While this situation is impacting business around the globe, California's almond shipments have been steady. Demand has remained strong, and buyers around the globe want to buy California almonds. While there have been reports of some challenges related to supply chain logistics, almonds are a shelf-stable food and able to withstand some of the delays which the food industry is experiencing.
The Almond Board of California continues to serve the industry during this time, working remotely in line with California mandates, but staying in contact with our government partners and industry stakeholders to ensure we can share essential updates with almond growers and processors.