Clarice Turner, president and CEO of the Almond Board of California, gave a press conference of her first 100 days in office. (Photo courtesy of Rick Kushman/Almond Board of California)

Suspended UK tariffs reflect $4 million in relief to U.S. almond importers. 

By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice 

On April 9, Clarice Turner commemorated her first 100 days as President and CEO of the Almond Board of California through a virtual press conference, highlighting the state of the industry and innovative strategies to support almond consumption.  

Notably in March, the UK lifted tariffs on raw almonds — 4% on inshell and 2% on raw kernels — which were put in place after the UK left the European Union in 2021. According to Turner, this elimination represents $4 million annually in relief to UK importers.  

UK trade officials released a list of commodities on March 18 that will have tariffs suspended until June 30, 2026, but there is a possibility for an extension or a permanent change.  

While interest rates remain high, the likelihood of a recession is low and inflation appears to be softening, Turner explained. Still, food inflation has not softened substantially for almond consumers in the U.S. 

“What I mean by that is almonds are at one of the least expensive price points they have been at in many years,” Turner said. “That, unfortunately, is not getting passed on to consumers in the retail channels.”  

She highlighted Trader Joe’s recent price change which lowered almond price per bag by $1. 

“I hope the other retailers will follow,” Turner said.  

The almond industry is set for a significant rebound within the next year and the Almond Board is capitalizing on innovative strategies to promote growth from diversifying product types and expanding to promising international markets.  

The Almond Board hired Deloitte — the world’s largest consulting organization — to identify new markets and opportunities for future growth. One of their key findings lay in the 14 form factors of almonds aside from the typical forms of kernels, sliced, and chopped.  

The U.S. has not yet capitalized on oil, powder, and flour products Turner explained, but new ways to market almond products are coming to the domestic market. Internationally, Deloitte helped identify international markets to export products. 

Turner visited one of the most promising markets, India, in February. Roughly 50% of the Indian population is under 30 years old and are increasingly health conscious, she explained.  

“And it is now the largest population in the world, relatively stable economy, and good politically from a stability standpoint. [It’s] a very attractive market to us,” Turner said.  

India is the main exporter of U.S. fresh or dried almonds, holding over 474 million pounds exported in 2022-2023. Still, India’s market is complex, and continuous open communication is necessary moving forward, Turner explained.  

Other identified markets include Indonesia, Turkey, Morocco, and continued efforts to keep open trade with China.  

Turner also highlighted sustainability efforts the industry is undertaking and noted that almond trees alone sequester roughly 30 million metric tons of carbon every year.  

“Every single year the orchards that we have in the ground today sequester 24.5 million cars worth of carbon out of the air,” Turner said. “That’s the equivalent of 3,134 Boeing 737s or 29 coal-fired power plants.” 

Nearly half of almond farmers replanting orchards use a practice known as whole orchard recycling, introduced in 2017, to capture 2.4 tons of carbon per acre, according to an infographic from the Almond Board of California.  

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