The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced awards for the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) granting the California Walnut Commission (CWC) a combined total of $5.7 MM for export market development efforts.
MAP, provided for in the 2018 Farm Bill, partners USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) with agricultural trade associations to help build commercial export markets for U.S. agricultural products and commodities. The $4.1MM MAP award will enable the CWC to conduct export programs in Asia, Europe and the Middle East to grow walnut consumption. “This was a highly competitive process and we are very pleased with our grant award which allows us to continue innovative educational and volume driving activities to grow consumption of California walnuts globally,” stated Pamela Graviet, Sr. International Marketing Director for the CWC.
“The industry is grateful to USDA for their swift action to assist our industry in this difficult time,” stated Bob Lea, Chair of the CWC Market Development Committee. The Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), along with the Food Purchase and Distribution Program, will assist industry in moving volume, enabling the industry to avoid future excess inventory and long-term price suppression. ATP funds of $1.6 MM will allow the industry to conduct additional export activities to offset the losses from tariff effected markets, while the previously announced USDA purchase of $34.6MM will provide walnuts to food and nutrition programs.
Export marketing programs will continue to grow with the aid of MAP. Exports accounted for 63% of shipments in the 2017/18 crop year and are expected to continue to grow as the CWC seeks out new sales channels and markets for future production. “The possibilities the program provides us will build on successful marketing programs by expanding into new market segments such as food service while also developing new markets in the Middle East and beyond” stated Bill Carriere, Chair of the California Walnut Commission.
The efforts of the CWC, along with its sister agency, the California Walnut Board (CWB), seek to maintain the industries competitiveness in the marketplace, from research to marketing, not only for the present but for our future.
The California walnut industry is made up of over 4,800 growers and over 90 handlers (processors).
Source: California Walnut Commission