In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, sustainability goals have been announced to push the almond industry to continue their efforts of environmental stewardship. Director for Sustainability and Environmental Affairs at the Almond Board of California (ABC) Gabriele Ludwig described what the industry is aiming for over the next couple years.
“To improve water use efficiency by 20 percent by 2025…to increase the use of environmentally friendly pest management practices by 25 percent by 2025; to be zero-waste from the orchard by 2025,” Ludwig noted. “The fourth area is really more for our neighbors and that is to reduce dust from harvesting by 50 percent by 2025.”
The industry has already made significant strides in the area of water use, reducing the water required for production by a third over the past twenty years through the adoption of more efficient irrigation systems. Tools and techniques such as beneficial insects, habitat removal, and mating disruption also offer promise as more friendly pest management practices. Coproducts in the areas of dairy farm use, electricity generation, recycled plastics, fuel, and beer will play important roles in working towards eliminating waste in orchards.
“This whole issue of sustainability has become much more prominent in the kind of consumer who tends to buy almonds’ minds,” said Ludwig. “We have had tremendous success over the years with the health message of almonds but in the consumers mind now they’re also looking at wanting products that are not only good for them but also good for the planet.”
Achieving the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals could prove challenging over the next few years, but the results may provide significant benefits for the almond industry overall. Ludwig noted that the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) will play a significant role over the next few years in measuring the industry’s response to the sustainability goals. “In terms of what we’ve been doing now as staff at the A
Listen to the report below.