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Almond Growers Make Good Neighbors
Reporter Joanne Sbranti (left) of the Modesto
Bee
interviews Newman grower/processor
Jim Jasper of Stewart & Jasper. Sbranti was
invited along with other members of the local
consumer media to the Almond Board’s
Environmental Stewardship Tour this year.

Over the years, the California Almond industry has enjoyed a long period of economic success and is generally regarded as one of the leading success stories for California agriculture. Recently, the issues of water availability, water quality, almond pasteurization and commercial honey bee health have grown in importance and have resulted in increasing public, media and government regulatory attention throughout California and around the world. In addition, we live in a time when the public’s trust of businesses and food companies is at an all-time low. As a result, the Almond Board of California’s (ABC’s) Board of Directors has recently approved a new strategic objective to establish a proactive public relations stewardship program.

Following this direction, proactive reputation management activities started immediately in an effort to heighten the public’s awareness of the almond industry’s longstanding and positive production story. ABC recently launched a Good Neighbor portion of the public relations program to help maintain the trust and goodwill of our neighbors by sharing the positive environmental stewardship efforts and economic contributions made by growers. This year, the 10th annual Environmental Stewardship Tour, historically targeted to regulators and ag media, was extended to reach out to local consumer media. Leveraging the Environmental Stewardship Tour allowed us to showcase almond growers’ water efficiency efforts through the positive findings of the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP), and ongoing research from the Environmental and the Production Research Committees. The tour resulted in over 890,000 positive media impressions in the Central Valley. Articles were published in the Modesto Bee, Turlock Journal, Merced Sun-Star and more.

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