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Completed project

Almond study tour (AL16701)

Key research provider: Almond Board of Australia
Publication date: Thursday, March 12, 2020

What was it all about?

This investment, which ran from 2017 to 2019, facilitated the interaction between Australian almond industry members and their counterparts in the US and Spain. Australia’s almond industry significantly benefits from knowledge shared across these key industry participants, with our production systems and processing capacity based on technology developed in California and research into rootstocks and growing systems from Spain.

Funding travel for key almond industry representatives to the US and Spain has been key to this network development, working with researchers in these and other countries to develop knowledge and relevant technologies.

The study tour program in 2018-2019 covered various meetings and events, including attendance the California Almond Conference in December 2018 and the International Nut Congress in May 2019.

  • The Californian Almond Conference 2018 was held over three days with a comprehensive program of presentations about production, processing, and market development. There were also supplier exhibitors, and an extensive poster section covering a wide range of research projects.
  • On the day prior to the conference, the Almond Boards of Australia and California meeting was held, which included discussions regarding supply chain and management issues
  • Annual study tours to California visited the Davis campus of the University of California, nurseries, machinery manufacturers, water authorities and growers with the aim to seek out knowledge and develop relationships
  • Participation at the annual International Nut Congress 2019 allowed engagement with the nut trade and provided a forum to discuss issues impacting global supply and demand for all nuts
  • Meetings with staff of the International Nut Council developed a better understanding of their roles and established valuable contacts
  • Other meetings and engagements across the sector in support of Australian Almonds.

These interactions are providing insight for the development of an industry sustainability program. The Californian industry has been leading the way in developing and documenting sustainable practices. Their program has proven important in supporting the license to farm in the US and to counter adverse public sentiment against the almond industry as a heavy water user during the drought. The Australian industry has drawn on the lessons learnt and is currently implementing an Australian Sustainable Almond Program.

The knowledge gained from the study tours has also supported the ABA in addressing market access and other trade issues, such as:

  • The withdrawal of permission to use chemicals on product destined for European markets
  • International industry expansion and influences on future surety of critical inputs such as water and bees, providing an improved understanding of future global supply and demand
  • The health benefits of almond consumption
  • Consumer trends toward plant-based diets
  • Development of new varieties and rootstocks, harvesting equipment technologies and tree nutrition research.
Related levy funds

978 0 7341 4589 5

Funding statement:
This project was funded through the Hort Innovation Almond Fund using the Almond R&D levy and contributions from the Australian government.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2020. The Final Research Report (in part or as a whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation, except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).