Almond Board’s Sustainability Program Gets Even Better

Almond Board’s Sustainability Program Gets Even Better

January 3, 2017

Almond Board Program Streamlined

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor

The Almond Board has set a new standard for the Ag industry, according to Joe Browde, a senior research associate for Sure Harvest, which is working with the Almond Board towards sustainability.

It isn’t news that best management practices is the goal of the almond sustainability program, which has been in place since 2010. According to Sure Harvest, “sustainable almond farming utilizes production practices that are economically viable and are based upon scientific research, common sense, a respect for the environment, neighbors and employees.” The result is a plentiful, nutritious and safe food.

Browde gave California Ag Today some insight on this well-known program. “What we've done is try to make it more user-friendly, streamline the whole process to ensure the value.” He explained that they wanted to “improve the value of the program so growers can see it more clearly, and handlers, too, as they increasingly assess their practices.”

Sure Harvest made the process more adaptable for all to use. “We've made it adaptable to various platforms. Obviously the traditional computer itself, the laptop, but now also well adapted even to smart phones and, of course, other mechanisms as well,” Browde said.

Sure Harvest has created a brand new program to simplify the process. “So if you answer a practice once, it's auto-populated elsewhere where a similar practice is asked, so it's all about making life easier for the assessor so they can enjoy the experience more” he said. “They will feel the value at the end of the day.”

Joe Browde also explained the Almond Board of California's new bee and pollination module. “Brand new one. The bee health and pollination module is specifically desired by ABC … to go with their best management practices guide for bees, and they want to make a big deal on what they're doing in that realm.”

The main goal of the Almond Board of California and their bee and pollination module is to help consumers understand the value in bees and their importance to the world supply chain of food. “We have developed a new module for that to help them answer those questions and folks can assess. They can use it perhaps even in a verification scheme one day with suppliers” Browde said.

Sure Harvest and the Almond Board are both researching the module. “We're talking about various ways to help folks throughout the supply chain see the value and to be able to address their various customers” Browde said. Although these studies may still be in their infancies, “we're trying to figure out the best strategic direction forward with ABC leadership.”