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Almond Board Looks Forward to Sustainable Snacks After 50 Years on the Ground
As snacking occasions abound, the Almond Board of California (ABC) has committed to promoting the sustainability and usefulness of the world’s favorite nut. “We really know consumers continue to be very interested about where their food comes from and how its grown, and responsible use of resources,” said Emily Fleischmann, VP of global marketing at the ABC, told us.
In The News
Almond Board, Global Technical & Regulatory Affairs (GTRA) team is constantly following the most up to date information that could affect the supply chain of almonds. Whether the issues affect growers domestically or handlers internationally, GTRA stays on top of it. Read the monthly Global Update newsletter to understand the most pertinent issues that are affecting global market access for almonds.
Each month, Almond Board of California publishes a position report, which contains the most recent almond trade statistics. Reference these reports to get the latest shipment information and understand the trends impacting the almond industry. The reports follow the Almond Board’s crop year (August 1 to July 31) which aligns with the almond crop production cycle. August, the beginning of harvest, marks the beginning of each new crop year and the following July position report rounds out the final shipment numbers for each year.
BBC Future Reports on Water-Saving Tech Used by California Almond Farmers
What do NASA, almonds, JJ Ramberg and microsprinklers have in common? Each feature in the latest episode of BBC’s Follow the Food series, which focuses on water and profiles “innovators making extraordinary strides in protecting this finite resource.” With interviews from the Almond Board’s senior manager of irrigation and water efficiency, Spencer Cooper and UC Davis researcher Daniele Zaccaria, the segment explores the practices almond farmers have already put in place to conserve water and the new technology being tested to further increase efficiency. Water-saving technologies and improved almond production practices have helped farmers reduce the amount of water it takes to grow each almond by 33 percent over the past 20 years. What’s more, the California almond community commits to an additional 20 percent reduction by 2025. Watch this video from BBC Future’s series Follow the Food to learn more about how California almond farmers are using technological innovations and modern agriculture practices to rise to the challenge of using water more responsibly and efficiently.  University of California, 2010. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2012. Almond Board of California, 1990-94, 2000-14
In The News
Plant-Based Formulations Reign at IFT19
Whether they’re vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian, more and more consumers are gravitating toward plant-based eating. Which is why meatless burgers, chips made from chickpeas, and oat milk lattes are turning up in restaurants and grocery store aisles with increasing frequency. Mary Ellen Kuhn, executive editor of Food Technology magazine, talks with Cosucra (655) and The Almond Board of California (4013) to learn more about plant-based formulation.
In The News
Feedfeed Founder Julie Resnick Creates Easy and Delicious Dairy-Free Recipes for Weekday Meal Prep and Warm-Weather Entertaining
Modesto, Calif. – Julie Resnick, founder of the media company Feedfeed and the popular @thefeedfeed Instagram community, partnered with California Almonds to put a spin on common recipes using almond milk as an ingredient. Almond milk is often used in coffee, cereal and oatmeal, so with her recipes Julie sought to share new ways to use the almond milk many people already have in their kitchen. Creamy almond milk is a tasty and versatile ingredient to incorporate into soups, desserts, sauces, baked goods, beverages and more, particularly for those seeking an alternative to dairy for their weekly meals and entertaining needs in the warmer months. From breakfast to dessert, Julie’s recipes showcase how easy it is to create simple but show-stopping dishes using pantry staples like almond milk. Almond milk provides a subtle, nutty flavor that complements other ingredients, and like almond milk, each recipe is a fit for a variety of diets, including plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free and even vegan: Vanilla Almond Milk Pancakes with Almond Butter Drizzle Spicy Zucchini Noodles with Almond Milk Dressing Thai Sweet Potato-Parsnip Soup with Ginger, Almond Milk and Red Curry Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Milk Cookies with Toasted Almonds Crispy Chicken Thighs with Almond Milk Curry The partnership with Julie and @thefeedfeed followed a successful almond milk crowdsourced recipe campaign hosted by California Almonds. “Here at the Almond Board of California, we are always looking for new ways to inspire consumers to enjoy almonds,” says Becky Jeffers, manager, North America marketing at the Almond Board of California. “Our partnership with Julie and her team at the Feedfeed has helped us inspire at-home cooks, bloggers and all-around food enthusiasts to try almond milk in new and exciting ways.” Vanilla Almond Milk Pancakes In addition to the recipes, California Almonds and @thefeedfeed hosted an Instagram contest encouraging the Feedfeed community to create and share their own almond milk recipes. To date, nearly 700 recipes have been submitted and the winning recipes have included hot chocolate, flavored almond milks and overnight oats. To discover these recipes and more, follow the Instagram hashtag #almondmilkallways. "Almond milk is one of my go-to kitchen staples and I love exploring new ways to incorporate it in my favorite dishes both sweet and savory,” says Julie Resnick. “Its light creamy texture and delicious flavor make it an ideal addition to so many recipes. We hope these recipes help inspire uses of almond milk in day-to-day cooking and baking." Almond milk is a low-carbohydrate and low-sugar option, with unsweetened varieties offering as few as 30 calories and zero grams of sugar. With no saturated fat or cholesterol, almond milk is a fit for many diets and dietary restrictions and can be swapped for dairy in recipes for those seeking an alternative. To learn more about California almonds and discover more almond milk recipes for inspiration, visit http://www.almonds.com/consumers/almond-milk.
Water management is a complex issue in California. But we need to tackle it together
Of all the issues that have crossed Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk during his first 100 days in office, water might very well be the most complex. How the state manages this precious resource is an urgent concern for residents, businesses, environmentalists and the agricultural sector. I am an almond grower from Merced County, and we in the California almond community are all rooting for the governor, his fellow policymakers and regulators to succeed in finding viable solutions and common ground. One of the biggest impediments to progress for far too long has been that those four constituencies – residents, businesses, environmentalists and agriculture – have been cast as antagonists whose interests are exclusive from each other. It doesn’t have to be that way. People don’t always fit into isolated boxes. The California almond industry, for example, is one big community made up of all four of those constituencies – and we’ve shown that it’s possible to make advances in responsible water use. When the term “residential use” is cited in the water debate, it is usually short hand for people in big cities. Yet we farmers live in California, too. We are residents of cities and towns throughout the Central Valley, and even though most of us are third- or fourth- generation almond growers, we were Californians before we ever decided to become tree farmers. We chose to stay and raise our families here for the same reasons as our more urban neighbors: the sun, the beaches, the mountains, the people, the opportunities. We are also business owners. Yes, we spend most of our days in orchards, but at night we track shipments and fret about our budgets and cash flow. Water is one of the biggest costs we have, and we’re always trying to figure out how to be more efficient with it. It has been said that farmers are the original environmentalists. It’s true that whatever crop you grow, you depend on the land and the natural resources available to you. You better use them wisely and responsibly or risk not being able to pass the farm on to future generations. And of course, we are agriculture. In fact, we’re one of California’s biggest crops. Almonds generate more than $21 billion of economic activity in California and are responsible for more than 100,000 jobs in the state. We’re the only place in the U.S. that can grow almonds, producing 80 percent of the world’s total supply. So, we see the water debate from every side. Indeed, we are living it. While the governor and lawmakers grapple with the area that they know best – the public policy – we will address it in the realm we know best: the orchard. The truth is, when it comes to water, almond farmers have been doing more with less for decades. Through higher yields and innovations like super-efficient, micro-irrigation techniques that today are used on nearly 80 percent of almond farms, we have reduced the amount of water it takes to grow each almond by 33 percent in the last 20 years. Yet, we believe we can do even more. Our industry recently pledged to reduce the amount of water used to grow a pound of almonds another 20 percent by 2025. The California almond community is committed to being responsible stewards of water. We invite our fellow residents, businesses, environmentalists and all of agriculture to join us on this journey and work together to solve the water issues that confront the whole state. Brian Wahlbrink is an almond farmer located in Modesto and a member of the Almond Board of California.
In The News
Almonds Drive Growth in New and Traditional Consumer Product Categories Worldwide
Modesto, CA – According to new data from Innova Market Insights, almonds continue to lead new product introductions worldwide, with a total of 10,842 new products with almonds introduced in 2018.1 As the snacking category, in particular, has grown over time, so have snacks with almonds – in 2010 snacks represented only 7 percent of new almond products, whereas today snacks make up 20 percent (2,137 new products) of almond introductions globally. The Global New Products Report from Innova Market Insights found that almonds are the most popular nut in the three largest regions: Europe, Asia-Pacific, and North America. Europe continues to be the leading region for almond product introductions with 45 percent share, while Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region for almond introductions, up 16 percent from 2017. This global growth helped almonds maintain their long-held position as the top nut in global new product introductions.1 New almond product introductions across the confectionery, snacks, bakery, bars, and cereal categories make up 80 percent share of global almond introductions, but almonds are also experiencing double digit year over year growth in specialty categories such as desserts and ice cream (+10 percent), dairy (+13 percent), spreads (+29 percent) and sports nutrition (+95 percent).1 “We’re seeing strong growth in what were previously smaller categories, such as sports nutrition, spreads, and dairy products,” said Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation, Innova Market Insights. “Almond versatility is especially evident in these peripheral categories across new almond milk beverages and almond-based protein powders being introduced. Furthermore, a 29% increase in global almond introductions in the “spreads” category speaks to consumer interest for nutrient dense snacking options.” The Global New Products Report also highlighted the top claims used on packaging of products with almonds, noting that “gluten-free” was the top claim used (23 percent) worldwide. Notably, 36 percent of almond introductions in the “bars” category were labeled “gluten-free”. Following trends and consumer demands for clean label products, claims of “no additives/preservatives” were the second most used on almond product introductions globally, communicated on 17 percent of almond products, up two percent from 2017. Almonds’ signature texture, “crunchy” was again the descriptor used most frequently on almond products worldwide.1 In North America, the third largest region for almond introductions, nearly half (46 percent) of new nut products contain almonds. Confectionary proved to be a key category in this region, showing strong growth of nearly 10 percent from 2017, despite fewer confectionery products being introduced globally year over year. In North America, bars are the top category for almond introductions, making up one quarter (26 percent) of 2018 almond introductions for the region. 1 “As global new products evolve and change with consumer needs and desires, we continue to see manufacturers push the bounds of all that almonds can offer as an ingredient,” said Emily Fleischmann, Vice President, Global Market Development at the Almond Board of California. “Available in more forms than any other tree nut, California almonds continue to offer product developers a safe, stable, and sustainable ingredient with innovative applications across multiple categories. We’re also honored to have been awarded the GMA Food Safety Award from the International Association for Food Protection this year – the award recognizes the Almond Board’s preeminence in and contributions to the field of food safety, of which we are immensely proud.” Almonds are a healthy ingredient for new product development, and when compared ounce for ounce, almonds are the tree nut highest in six essential nutrients: protein (6g), fiber (4g), calcium (75mg), vitamin E (7.4mg), riboflavin (0.3mg) and niacin (1mg).* Visit the Almond Board of California at the Institute of Food Technologist’s Annual Food Expo at booth S2802, and find almond recipe inspiration, research, technical resources and the latest industry news on www.almonds.com/food-professionals. References: 1. Innova Market Insights 2018 Global New Product Introductions Report, May 2019. * Good news about almonds and heart health. Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving on almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.
USDA Announces Almonds Included in Second Trade Assistance Program
MODESTO, Calif – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced almonds will be included in the administration’s new trade mitigation package. This package aims to continue support of farmers and ranchers impacted by delayed negotiations and trade disruption with China. Almond Board Chair Holly A. King is attending a briefing at the White House this afternoon with President Donald J. Trump and representatives from other major farm groups to discuss the trade mitigation package. “It is an honor to represent the California almond industry at the White House briefing with President Trump and express appreciation for his efforts to ease the burden of the trade tariffs on California almond growers,” said King. “We have invested heavily in developing the market for California almonds in China for more than 20 years and hope the Administration is successful in negotiating a new trade deal soon so we can get back to business as usual.” The $16 billion package includes $14.5 billion for the Market Facilitation Program, $1.4 billion in surplus commodity purchases through the Food Purchase and Distribution Program and $100 million in Agricultural Trade Promotion funding. Almonds will be included in the Marketing Facilitation Program. According to the USDA release, “Tree nut producers, fresh sweet cherry producers, cranberry producers and fresh grape producers will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of production.” The Almond Board has worked closely with the Almond Alliance of California throughout the developing tariff situation to ensure the voice of the California almond industry is heard. “The Almond Board and Almond Alliance have been actively engaged with USDA, the US Trade Representative and Congress regarding the impact of this trade disruption on almonds. The Alliance has led efforts ensuring almonds are included in the second mitigation package,” said Julie Adams, Vice President of Global, Technical and Regulatory Affairs at the Almond Board. “We look forward to working with USDA in leveraging these funds to best benefit the entire almond industry and our grower communities.” Overall, trade disputes have underscored the importance of having diverse, healthy export markets, a position of strength that the California almond industry has long enjoyed. For decades, ABC has supported the industry by making significant investments in foreign market development and expansion. Recently, the Almond Board started marketing programs in Italy, Mexico, Germany and re-entered Japan. ABC also ramped up marketing activity in Germany and India. “While we appreciate almonds’ inclusion in the second package, almonds continue to be impacted by the increase in tariffs and we’ve seen significant decline in shipments to China, our third-largest export market,” said Adams. “Getting back to normal trade is critical.” Almond Board Chair Holly King (front right) joined Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue (front left) and other agricultural leaders at the White House to discuss details of the trade mitigation package with President Trump.