currently filled with stories about banned supplements aiding the recovery of our elite sportspeople following games and training. For the past two years the ABA has been promoting the value of almonds as the ultimate sports recovery food and the message has been welcomed by sport scientists and dietitians. Strong supporting evidence of this has recently been witnessed during an ABA promotion. Tennis ball shaped tins containing 30gm packs of dry roasted almonds were distributed to coincide with the Australian Open tennis in Melbourne. Dietitians from several AFL clubs and state Sports Institutes responded to the promotion within minutes of being emailed, asking for details on how they could obtain supplies
The Australian almond industry has come a long way in a short period of time. In 2000, the industry totalled 6,000 hectares and had a focus on supplying the domestic market. In 2013, we will produce almonds for consumption in over 40 countries around the world, and in the process earn around $400 million in export income. The industry will provide many jobs in our producing regions and importantly, this year the returns look to have improved to the point where growers will earn a sufficient return for their investment of effort and capital. During the past decade the industry has emerged as a viable one, despite fears we may have been expanding too rapidly. Comparisons with the wine industry boom of the late 1990s
abound, and similar stories of heartbreak may have eventuated if it weren’t for the fact that the world’s demand for nutritious
of these tins full of delicious roasted almonds. A superior recovery supplement that isn’t injected must be a pretty good alternative!
Hopefully by the time this issue of In A Nutshell is printed and reaches you, the 2013 harvest will be unfolding as one of the best ever.
and healthy food products appears insatiable. Newspapers are
Neale Bennett Chairman
The nervous anticipation of a new harvest is upon us. This year industry is expecting a crop of around 70,000 tonnes, an increase of 20,000 tonnes over the 2012 crop. The most pleasing aspect of this record tonnage for our industry is that it is being offered on a market where the world price has strengthened significantly in the past months. Smaller than expected recent US harvest and strong growth in world demand lies at the heart of the improved prices. Domestic consumption has again shown double digit growth during the past year, and meeting consumer expectations has not been an easy path for our marketers. After three challenging harvests due to weather it is hoped that dry conditions experienced in spring and early summer continue, and the excellent quality showing on the trees is realised in the product packed for consumers. Despite hoping for a return to hot dry summers, industry has been active in looking at ways to address increased pest and disease pressures caused by humid warm months and challenges of moulds and bacteria. One thing is clear, for consumers to receive quality product, and one they are now paying a good price for, all elements of the supply chain must do their part well. Recent experience with product recalls indicate that the processing sector of the industry cannot undo deterioration that may occur
The past few years have threatened large increases in Australian industry tonnage based on plantings data however, the increase from the 2010 crop to the 2012 was only 10,000 tonnes. This year the jump in production will result in an estimated extra 20,000 tonnes of product available for sale. Allowing for an increase on the domestic market of 2,000 tonnes and 18,000 tonnes on the export market will increase total exports to approximately 53,000 tonnes for 2013. This will be an increase of 50% over the 2012 overseas sales, a large proportion of this will be sold as in-shell product. Gross value of almond exports may reach $400,000,000 this year, placing almonds as Australia’s largest horticultural export crop. Despite gains in terms of tonnage and value, the Australian industry operates in the shadow cast by California, which will trade more than 12 times our volume of product in the coming year, even with a 2012 crop that is only 85% of their record million tonne crop of 2011. At the recent Californian Almond Conference, the Almond Board of California generously met with an ABA delegation to discuss domestic marketing programs and consumer research that is delivering such strong growth in consumption. It is hoped this type of information exchange provides mutual benefit. Similarly, the ABC has been very helpful to our industry, sharing research outcomes and experiences with the introduction of mandatory pasteurisation. A further matter of importance is that the Californian industry has led the way on submissions on the change of name for almonds required by the Chinese authorities. As a key world market, albeit one serviced almost exclusively by the US, efforts to minimise disruption to consumption by this name change has a flow on effect on supply to other markets. The 2013 harvest is an important one for our industry. Higher yields, better global prices and hopefully a return to a consistently high quality product will see a significant improvement in the profitability equation.
during harvest and storage. The best they can do is work diligently to identify sub-standard product and exclude this from packs of natural almond products. Volume of product testing has increased during the past few years and
this, added to the slower throughput of product, has added significantly to the cost side of the profitability equation.