Sustainability on Consumers’ Minds

Taylor Hillman Environment, Specialty Crops, Tree, nut & vine crops

Sustainability isn’t just on the minds of farmers and ranchers. Consumers are asking those sustainability questions themselves before they buy.

Sustainability on Consumers’ Minds

The Almond Board of California says conversations with consumers have changed as consumers are showing concerns about sustainability. “I think the real underlying question consumers are asking us to answer is ‘If almonds are good for me, but they may not be good for the environment, are they good?’,” Vice President of Global Marketing Stacey Humble says. “We in the industry know that we have made a lot of efforts and progress in being more sustainable but we weren’t really sharing that with consumers because they weren’t expressing a lot of interest.”

Humble says consumers suddenly shifted their concerns about sustainability and the industry needed to be transparent about that information and get those facts to consumers. “So now we need to really make sure we’re taking all the efforts that we can to help consumers understand the progress that we’ve made and the journey that we’re on,” Humble says. “Today, every pound of almonds produced by a grower in California requires 33 percent less water than it did 20 years ago.”

Better efficiency all around the orchard is creating that number as Humble says it’s not a result of just one practice. “It has to do with varietal development, planting spacing and irrigation technology. It’s not a single thing that resulted in that,” Humble says. “In 22 century agronomics, the big initiative is really about how intertwined the decisions and actions are so we can pick those that will make the biggest impact on the industry.”