Home' Grower : August 2013 Contents 10 The South Australian Grower -- August 2013
Almond yield grows many fold
By STEPHANIE GROPLER
THE Australian almond industry
has had an exceptional year,
so much so that the country is
expected to become the second larg-
est producer worldwide, overtaking
Spain this past season.
While final results are yet to be
released, it is estimated Australian
growers produced 71,600 tonnes, up
from 49,585t in 2012.
Almond Board of Australia wmar-
keting program manager Joseph
Ebbage said the past few years had
seen times of extraordinary growth.
He said the industry had recognised
the need to invest to meet growing
demand, even during some of its
"It would have been easy not to
invest during the harsh time of the
drought when water prices were so
high and then the floods that came
through," Mr Ebbage said.
"It would have been easier to just
say 'well, we will stop investing in
marketing because we have enough
to get through this year'.
"They could have let it all go and
not got to this point where we have
got to 70,000t, or not had markets
to go to."
The market has seen new opportu-
nities in the past 12 months.
"We will be exporting somewhere
around 75 per cent of our crop," Mr
"Our oldest, traditional market
in terms of age would be Western
Europe, where people have been
exporting to for 10 to 15 years," he
"India is our single biggest market
and that has been a very strong
market for us. The other hub from
an export perspective is the Middle
"From the statistics we are receiv-
ing, it seems Russia is importing and
buying more and more almonds."
It is not just the export market that
is continuing to grow, with great
opportunities within Australia.
"We have a really strong growing
domestic consumption market, more
and more Australians seem to be
eating and enjoying almonds," Mr
Statistics show that in a five-
year period from 2007 to 2012,
Australians almost doubled their
consumption of almonds. But in
2013-14, for every tonne consumed
in Australia, 2.5 tonnes will be
Almond Board of Australia Industry
Development Manager Ben Brown
said the past 12 months had been a
boon for growers.
"A lot of the younger trees are
coming into maturity and it was
a relatively dry harvest. It wasn't
perfect but was relatively dry so the
quality is an improvement as well,"
"Prices have improved as well over
the last 12 months, with California
being a little bit short on their crops'
"There have been the two previous
years that weren't so good in terms
of crops and price and exchange rates
but that has all sort of turned around
at this stage."
Mr Brown said the Australian dollar
falling below parity and continuing
to fall would only be positive for
Australian almond growers.
"There will be a portion of the
crop that might reap benefits fairly
immediately and then other portions
of the crop might be a bit later on
if they have already committed with
contracts and various things," he
"Certainly, they will start to see
or reap those benefits as we move
Australia has undoubtedly become
a global player in recent times,
coming only behind California, that
produces about 81 per cent of the
world's almond supply.
"We will be roughly four per cent
of the world market as a whole of
industry and then South Australia
would be approximately 20 per cent
of that," Mr Brown said.
The amount of almond trees
planted has increased by more than
five-fold in the past decade, from
2390 hectares in 2001 to 12,245ha
Australian almonds are yet to reach
peak production, with 9pc of plant-
ings less than three years old and
non-bearing while 48pc are cropping
but have not reached full yields.
Plantings older than eight years
make up 43pc of crops, and are fully
mature and in full production.
71,600t expected in 2013
Exporting 75pc of crop
Prices to trend upwards
Prospect of good crops heartens Sam
ALMOND growers are heaving
a sigh of relief after a strong
growing year and sure signs of
One of them is Sam Pearce
(pictured), who sees plenty to
"It actually makes you feel
happy about growing almonds,"
"It comes on the back of five
difficult years but across the
industry, I think most people
have had significantly better
crops this season compared to
the previous couple.
"It has also been a lot drier
for harvesting, which has been
much better to deal with."
Sam said growers held-up
hopes following the Australian
"My understanding is that
a lot of the crop that was
sold this year was probably
committed prior to the dollar
dropping, so many growers
committed back in March and
April," he said.
"But it's still a positive for us
in the long run that is for sure
... certainly in Asia there is
unlimited potential really."
Safety centre on PMA A-NZ radar
PMA Australia-New Zealans is taking
an active role in enhancing the safety
and security of produce across the
Australia-New Zealand region, and
has worked closely with the University
of Sydney Faculty of Agriculture and
Environment and Horticulture Australia
Limited on a new food safety initiative.
Fresh Produce Safety Australia &
New Zealand aims to identify a model
for fresh produce safety research in
Australia and raise awareness about
the challenges for produce safety and
the importance of enhancing safety
The company's task force is working
towards formalising a Fresh Produce
Safety Centre to be based at the Faculty
of Agriculture and Environment at the
University of Sydney, and affiliated to
the Center for Produce Safety at the
University of California (Davis).
It will plan how the industry deals with
outbreaks in the region, particularly
crisis mitigation, management, and
consumer communication, and will
work with the industry to identify
research priorities and collaborative
partnerships in research, outreach, and
com or www.pma-anz.com
Links Archive July 2013 September 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page