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Almond growers encouraged to answer survey

Board seeks to gauge value to producers.

Todd Fitchette, Associate Editor

June 7, 2024

3 Min Read
California almond growers can make their voices heard through a survey from the Almond Board of California. Among other things, the survey asks growers a series of questions to gauge their assessment of the board’s priorities.Todd Fitchette

Every other year the Almond Board of California surveys growers for their perspectives on the federal marketing order. Staff want to rightly know if the work they’re committed to meets the approval of growers and handlers.

Jenny Nicolau, senior manager for industry relations and communications with the Almond Board of California, says the survey allows growers to give their assessment of the organization’s direction and effectiveness. It’s surely important in the current age of unprofitable grower returns to gauge the efforts of the federal order.

This year’s survey has three themes, Nicolau said. Growers and handlers will be asked to share their thoughts on the value the almond board gives them. From a high level, some of the questions center on the value growers and handlers see in the almond board. Other questions seek to understand how they receive information from the board. A third set of questions seeks to know how growers and handlers view the board’s marketing efforts.

“It’s important that we understand that we’re accomplishing our mission and that growers feel like they’re supported and that we have their back,” she said.

Previous surveys of growers, including those from the annual almond conference, revealed that growers highly value the almond conference. Growers also wanted more information from the board through a variety of means, even as print newsletter readership was ironically declining. This led to an effort to bring communications in-house in a move that seems to be paying dividends.

Related:USDA forecasts larger almond crop

It’s the marketing efforts that can rightly draw attention as the U.S. produces about 76% of the world’s almond supply. Over 70% of the U.S. supply is consumed domestically. Top export markets include India, Spain, and China. Building demand for U.S. almonds is critical to the industry’s success.

Each year the U.S. must sell about three billion pounds of almonds grown from farms in California. While the almond board markets these nuts as a commodity, the efforts of individual handlers cannot be dismissed as some are vertically integrated and offer consumers a host of almond-centric products beyond the snack nut.

Growers and handlers are encouraged to answer the survey questions and make their voices heard, though that is not the only place they can share their ideas and concerns. An elected board of directors exists to give growers a voice in the direction of the marketing order.

Farmers and handlers have until June 29 to submit their survey responses. For the first time, printed surveys were mailed to all known producers and handlers, Nicolau said. The survey is also available online.

Related:Bearing almond acreage drops slightly

Surveys will be collected and aggregated by almond board staff. Those results will be shared with recommendations later in the year with the board’s global communications committee.

Established in 1950, the almond board spends much of its time on production, nutrition, and market research, though attention is also paid to agronomic practices. Most of the organization’s annual budget is spent on marketing U.S. almonds.

We will keep you posted on those recommendations and survey results.

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About the Author(s)

Todd Fitchette

Associate Editor, Western Farm Press

Todd Fitchette, associate editor with Western Farm Press, spent much of his journalism career covering agriculture in California and the western United States. Aside from reporting about issues related to farm production, environmental regulations and legislative matters, he has extensive experience covering the dairy industry, western water issues and politics. His journalistic experience includes local daily and weekly newspapers, where he was recognized early in his career as an award-winning news photographer.

Fitchette is US Army veteran and a graduate of California State University, Chico. 

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