So, where are all these pounds going ? Spycher explained that 70 percent of all production is exported to more than 100 different countries, while 30 percent is consumed domestically. In recent years, there’s been a spike in domestic consumption, he said, particularly in mechanically-altered almonds — sliced, diced, blanched or otherwise not in-shell. Partnering to Combat Issues The Almond Board is fortunate to have a unique partnership with the Almond Alliance of California, which advocates on behalf of the industry in public policy arenas. Under the leadership of president and CEO Aubrey Bettencourt, the Alliance’s commitment to supply chain issues has leveraged relationships with five major carriers in negotiating how product can move faster and more efficiently across all ports. Additionally, the Alliance has partnered with Western United Dairies and the California Department of Water Resources to roll out Land Flex , a drought relief program providing farmers with compliance resources related to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). “We are not done as an industry, and we have a lot of room to grow,” Bettencourt said. “It’s a tough time but let me tell you, don’t confuse vision and direction to turn obstacles into opportunity and that’s what we’re going to do.” Strategizing to Meet Challenges With a changing industry comes a changing strategy, particularly in exploring untapped audiences. To be proactive, Rodriguez explained the newest cross- functional project in the works. Titled “Thea,” this tool will help predict, plan and strategize ABC’s foundation of activities over the next 10-15 years. Waycott also introduced how the team at ABC shifted its focus to promote almonds in unconventional outlets including March Madness, Marvel Studios, Sanremo Music Festival, Tmall — a Chinese e-commerce website — the well-known gaming platform called Twitch, and they’ve even explored efforts within the Metaverse. Other marketing campaigns designed to focus on the health and beauty benefits of almonds continue to
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