American Pistachio Growers wrapped up its annual conference in March, offering networking and education to the industry over a three-day period through seminars, a tradeshow floor and group activities.
APG President Richard Matoian kicked off the first day of seminars with the State of the Industry discussing pistachios’ good year in 2022 despite a multitude of challenges and highlighting achievements of the industry and APG.
The tree nut industry had a rough go in 2022 but persevered, and pistachios still came out strong thanks to efforts from growers and APG. Pistachio growers produced 884 million pounds of nuts in 2022 and increased acreage by over 18,000 while battling early season weather conditions and extreme heat. APG actively participated in the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance to get adequate representation for pistachios in the next Farm Bill and continued to effectively market pistachios domestically and internationally as shown in the organization’s 2022 Annual Report. The number of market opportunities for pistachios also expanded, and health and nutrition were at the forefront of many campaigns.
Highlighting the conference were speakers Daymond John and Dr. Marci Rossell. John, an entrepreneur best known for his 13 ongoing seasons on ABC’s Shark Tank, spoke to pistachio growers, processors and industry professionals about best business practices to make a splash in domestic and international markets. Dr. Rossell, a world-renowned economist and financial expert as well as former chief economist for CNBC, discussed the global economic outlook and growth opportunities for the pistachio industry.
Other key talks included a review of international pesticide and MRL (Maximum Residue Level) policies with Alinne Oliveira, deputy director of global access at Bryant Christie Inc., and a look into California pistachio acreage historical trends, water use and SGMA (Sustainable Groundwater Management Act) considerations with Land IQ’s Dr. Joel Kimmelshue. Attendees also received updates in the areas of regenerative agriculture, nutrition management, navel orangeworm and stinkbug management, ochratoxin tolerations and government relations.
APG also celebrated the graduation of its 12th LeadOn pistachio industry leadership class during the conference. This program selects individuals, such as growers, consultants, marketing specialists and even real estate professionals among others, who are motivated to lead and advance the U.S. pistachio industry. APG recently announced its 13th LeadOn class.