Almond Board of California invests $6.8 million into farming research
A major investment of $6.8 million is being made by US-based Almond Board of California (ABC) into 75 independent research projects exploring next-generation farming practices including optimal use of everything almond orchards grow.
In addition to improving production practices, the research projects into almonds that are widely used in confectionery, help the state’s almond community provide consumers around the world with a safe, wholesome and sustainable product.
The announcement was made at the 46th annual Almond Conference, an event held in Sacramento, California, convening almond farmers, processors and researchers to discuss the latest science behind responsible almond farming. ABC’s research programs provide a scientific basis for best practices across several priority areas, including water sustainability, pollinator health and finding new uses for almond coproducts, including hulls, shells and woody material.
“Innovation is at the core of sustainable almond farming. Driven by family farmers, the almond community is committed to continuous improvement, ensuring a better environment and future for our children and grandchildren, neighbours and employees,” said Almond Board of California President and CEO, Richard Waycott.
“Since 1973 almond farmers and processors have invested $80 million in research through the Almond Board to improve our understanding of almonds’ impact on human health, ensure food quality and safety, and improve farming practices while minimising environmental impacts.”
In terms of farming processes, the California almond community is focusing research investment on optimal uses for almond shells, embracing a zero-waste approach that addresses critical needs across multiple industries. This year ABC funded nine coproducts focused research projects totalling $1.2 million with applications spanning from in-orchard utilisation to value-added uses.
“We enjoy working with the almond community because their goals align with ours. The Almond Board is investing in research so nothing goes to waste, with the goal of a neutral footprint,” said Lydia Palma, researcher and PhD student at University of California, Davis. “Our research partnership focuses on developing new technologies to convert almond co-products into valuable products.”