Big interview: Endless opportunities

The versatility of almonds means the opportunities to use them are endless, Clarice Turner, newly-appointed President and CEO of the Almond Board of California tells International Confectionery 


Please introduce yourself. What is your role and responsibilities at Almond Board of California (ABC)? 


My name is Clarice Turner. I’m the President and CEO of the Almond Board of California. I’m a ninth-generation Californian with roots in farming, so this role is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with the staff, board, growers, handlers and other industry stakeholders in one of the state’s premiere crops and to build on the California almond industry’s strong foundation.  


You were appointed CEO of the ABC last year. What are the major aims you hope to achieve going forward? 


I intend to build on the incredible strengths of the almond industry and help take the industry into a bright future by highlighting the many positive attributes of almonds. Almonds are a nutritionally dense protein with a wide variety of health benefits. Their versatility is unmatched, and it is enhanced by their two-year shelf life, longer than other nuts. This offers a huge range of possibilities for the industry.  


As the nut most used as an ingredient, another priority is to continue contributing to innovations and solutions that will have real, positive impacts on climate change. California is home to 7600 almond farms and 100 almond processors. More than 90% of the farms are family owned and 70% are under 100 acres. Those families are deeply rooted in their land and their industry. They respect their land and their communities and work hard to be sure those will flourish for generations to come.  


What challenges is the industry facing? How are you offering support? 


The almond industry, like many others, is facing several macro forces that are contributing to difficult business, trade and economic environments. Similar to other agricultural sectors, we face challenges like high interest rates, unfavourable exchange rates in global markets, and increasing costs of doing business. These challenges are out of the industry’s control but have been converging all at once. 

The Almond Board is supporting growers and handlers by focusing on the areas we can control to drive global demand. We share fact-based stories about the nutritional density and positive environmental footprint of almonds, build on the demand in growing global markets, work to support a favourable trade and regulatory environment, enhance industry awareness, and work with the broader industry to inspire innovation around the world.  


What can sustainable growth look like for the industry? 

Sustainable growth for almonds, like many industries, is linked to reaching an equilibrium between supply and demand. Both sides of that equation have grown rapidly in the recent past.  

Our equilibrium was damaged by Covid-19 and subsequent shipping challenges, as well as several concurrent macroeconomic factors. This situation has improved somewhat recently.  


There are plenty of opportunities globally to expand demand for almonds because they’re a super nutritious plant-based protein that is widely used as a snack around the world. Plus, their incredible versatility is enhanced by their long shelf life, and they are a prized ingredient in the cuisines of many cultures. 

In addition, there are vast opportunities to tap into new segments, such as CPG and foodservice, to invent the next cool thing with almonds. Almonds come in so many different forms, from whole, sliced and diced to almond flour, butter, oil, paste and many more. The potential seems endless. We see some exciting examples like almond pasta or almond ice cream. We’ll continue to drive growth in many categories and across the globe with even more innovation and outreach.  


Read the full feature in our magazine.

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Media contact

Hannah Larvin
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920


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