How important is it to explain production processes to snack manufacturers and clients, and what challenges does that involve?
“Ensuring snack manufacturers understand the almond production process allows them to explore the many, varied opportunities, including natural, healthy almonds in their products.
“It also ensures that manufacturers are aware of the stringent quality and safety processes involved in almond production and processing. The Almond Board of California’s Food Quality and Safety Programme strengthens the industry’s commitment to produce almonds in a safe, responsible manner. The industry has written good manufacturing practices, which extend from the orchard through hulling, grading, processing, packaging, and delivery of the finished product. There are many steps involved in assessing the suitability of the many variations for particular applications and the appropriate processing methods.
“It is also important for manufacturers to be aware of the best quality preservation practices for California Almonds. Almonds are very versatile and available in many cut forms – whole, diced or chopped, roasted, sliced, slivered, flour, butter, paste, and oil. Understanding the storage and shelf-life parameters, including temperature, oxygen exposure and humidity, ensures the preservation of the superior natural attributes almonds bring to any product.
“Click here to learn more about choosing and using almonds.”
Sustainability is so complex. As a sustainable brand, how can we better communicate those complex messages to customers?
“From sourcing, to supply chain, to the manufacturing process, it is easy to get caught up in the complexity of creating a sustainable business. We have often found through research that consumers do not know that almonds grow on trees, which makes it difficult for them to understand our production practices and significance of the strides we have made in water efficiency, honeybee health and air quality.
“As a result, we have simplified our message to simply educate consumers about where almonds come from, and how they are grown, so they can continue to feel good about using and eating almonds.”
Is there a need for greater collaboration between snack manufacturers around sustainable production? Is efficiency seen as competitive advantage?
“The California Almond industry is driven to provide a safe and stable supply to snack manufacturers year over year. As almonds continue to grow in important snack categories, manufacturers can consistently count on California Almond farmers to help them grow their businesses and deliver on consumers’ taste, texture and nutrition demands, as well as their need for wholesome, natural, sustainable choices. As a science-driven organisation, the Almond Board has been investing in environmental and production research since 1973, with organisations like the University of California, and others around the globe. Almond farmers use this research to continuously improve their growing practices with an eye towards sustainability.
“More recently, the Almond Board of California launched a new strategic initiative, the Accelerated Innovation Management programme [AIM], to accelerate innovation and sustainability within the industry. Specifically, AIM prioritises sustainability research and steps up efforts to develop new partnerships and collaborations, which will drive four major initiatives to move the entire industry forward.
“Click here to learn more about the AIM programme.”
Do you think that having Donald Trump as your president is a threat to the great work you are doing on sustainability in Almond farming in California?
“Our industry is made up of almost 7,000 growers, who farm over 1M acres of almond trees, and our size allows us to make a meaningful environmental impact. At present, 50% of the industry’s carbon emissions are offset by the trees’ inherent carbon storage and our progressive farming practices.
“We will continue to invest in sustainability-related research and to seek continuous improvement regardless of the geopolitical environment.”