As the year wraps up, Almond Board of California (ABC) President and CEO Richard Waycott explained that there is reason for industry optimism in the year ahead. The past 12 to 18 months have been some of the toughest times the almond industry has experienced. But the resiliency that has allowed for such significant growth of the industry over the past several decades gives reason for hope in the coming year.
“I’m optimistic about next year,” Waycott noted. “We’ve been through tough times before and we have worked our way out of them, and I don’t know why that would be different in the future. Maybe a little bit tougher this time just because of SGMA and because of the number of issues that are on the table to be cleaned up, but I do think that we will find our way.”
Many of the challenges the industry has been navigating in 2022 have largely been out of growers’ control. The conflict in Ukraine and its impact on petroleum prices and the ripple effect that has, rising labor costs, and logistical difficulties have all combined to create a tough situation for the almond industry. While it is tough for there to be industry optimism amidst the variety of challenges, there have been indicators that some of those pressures will be letting up in the months ahead.
“I do think these cycles that we’ve all lived through of interest rates, and inflation, and costs of crop inputs, etcetera, those pendulums swing and then they swing back. I think we’ve had them swing an awful long way in one direction so I think we can all be hopeful, and I think with some degree of conviction, that many of those will swing back the other way,” said Waycott. “How far they swing back, good question. But I think we can count on that.”
ABC remains committed to helping move the industry forward. Waycott also expressed their appreciation for the continued support from the industry. ABC wishes a happy holiday season to the entire industry as another year is set to begin.
Listen to Waycott’s interview below.