There is a sense of industry optimism as 2021 comes to a close. Despite several challenges related to COVID and logistical complications, almond growers have endured. Overall, the almond industry has had a successful year, with positive expectations for the year ahead. Almond Board of California President and CEO Richard Waycott noted that the industry has remained resilient in making it through two years of high production that was met with significant supply chain disruptions.
“We had expanded the market quite considerably, globally, with our record shipments back in the 2021 marketing year that ended in July. We had these year-on-year massive crops,” Waycott explained. “But we were able to handle that which proved that we could do it and the markets would absorb it. This year, with that slightly lower crop, we should be in great shape.”
Waycott also noted his hope that with the recent storm systems bringing rain and snow to California, that it will be indicative of a much better year for water than 2021. Another reason for industry optimism, Waycott explained, is the progress made in the ongoing port challenges. There are still significant issues in West Coast ports, but conditions have slowly been improving with indications that work is continuing to address the problems. Waycott expressed hope that industry members will take the time this holiday season to celebrate the successes of the year and prepare for a positive 2022.
“It’s always so easy to focus on the current problems of the day without really realizing the amazing, multigenerational business that’s been created, and in most years, profitably. So, when we’re in these dips it’s hard to sort of see the forest through the trees but I think we need to do that,” said Waycott. “There’s some positive things out there and I hope that we can have a much less worrisome and more successful year in 2022.”
Listen to Waycott’s interview below.