We started the trip by the Almond Board of California Industry Overview Presentation in the ABC headquarters in Modesto, which also served as an opportunity to go over topical trade and technical issues. This was followed by a field tour to the orchard to witness almond harvest, huller/sheller and a processing facility, and a meeting with a trader (Terra Nova Trading) to discuss US trade with the EU.
Further, we held a meeting with California Walnut Board, with Abhi Kulkarni and Claire Lee, Assistant International Marketing Director.
FRUCOM met with the American Pistachio Growers (APG) Richard Matoian and visited a pistachio orchard to study pistachio harvest. We then went to the Safe Food Alliance Kingsburg Center, to visit the facility, followed by the meeting with the members of APG. This was an opportunity to present work of FRUCOM and answer APG members’ questions.
A tour of processing plant followed (Setton), together with a meeting with its management, sales and APG staff. This meeting was dedicated to aflatoxins, US pistachio industry efforts to achieve pre-export certification and OTA.
FRUCOM visited orchards and processing plant (pistachios and almonds) of Wonderful in Lost Hills and had a discussion with its management and legal representatives on aflatoxins and OTA.
A tour of the experimental orchard and laboratories of the USDA ARS San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center gave a good view of these state of the art facilities.
Finally, we witnessed various systems of raisin growing together with Tomo Naito, Sun-maid, followed by a meeting which focused on the company’s strategy and FRUCOM work on trade and technical dossiers, as well as a meeting with California Raisins, Mr. Larry Blagg, on similar issues.
FRUCOM wishes to thank all our American partners for their hospitality, informative tours and fruitful discussions.