The ABC Board of Directors met on June 2 and approved a record investment budget for the coming 2011/2012 crop year. Virtually all of the increased investment over the current year is destined for the further development of foreign markets, principally China and India. A quick glance at the May Position Report (a monthly publication of industry statistics) reveals why those two countries in particular are drawing so much attention: They represent the No. 1 and No. 4 export destinations, respectively, for California Almonds, crop year to date. The reality is, however, that every region of the world is demonstrating year-on-year growth, with export shipments surpassing the billion-pound mark two months ahead of last year.
What lies behind the figures is the conviction by the members of your Board that long-term investment in research, combined with customer and consumer development, yields big dividends for almond growers. Once again, this year, domestic shipments have boomed, increasing 12% YTD, signifying that almond usage and consumption in the U.S. market are a very long way from maturing. And export shipments have demonstrated ever-increasing momentum as the crop year comes to an end, now up 13% YTD. If the sky is the limit, how high is the sky?
ABC programs for 2011/2012 will push the envelope even further on guaranteeing food safety, environmental integrity and production competence, while at the same time providing for markets around the world eager to absorb the increased production coming from our orchards. We have a very exciting year ahead of us!
President and CEO
Almond Board of California