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California Walnuts

The California walnut industry is made up of more than 4,800 walnut growers and nearly 100 walnut handlers spread across California’s Central Valley. California walnuts account for more than 99% of the commercial U.S. supply and the industry annually generates $1.5 billion in farm gate revenue and supports some 85,000 jobs directly and indirectly.

In the U.S. market, the California Walnut Board raised visibility in September 2018 with the relaunch of national consumer advertising. Ads run on national cable channels, in food and lifestyle publications, and on digital media. Retail promotion will increase with expanded markets during February’s Heart Month along with other key promotions throughout the year.

For international markets the California Walnut Commission (CWC) will continue its print and digital advertising during the fall and winter months, and will also maintain their in store displays and demonstrations, educational seminars, and other promotions to both trade and consumers throughout 2019. Programs in all markets will remain including the tariff affected countries, where it has active export marketing programs. The three markets affected accounted for an estimated 15.4 percent of the 2017/18 crop year-to-date.

Despite increased tariffs imposed in late 2018 in China, India and Turkey, the California Walnut Council is cautiously optimistic that ongoing negotiations will resolve these issues. They have been actively involved in discussions with congressional leadership, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and United States Trade Representative in making sure industry concerns have been heard and that the California walnut industry is included in tariff discussions as well as relief measures, where appropriate.

International Suppliers

California walnuts supply two-thirds of the world’s walnut trade and that is why international trade is so vital to this industry. California walnut growers have earned a reputation for producing the highest quality walnuts in the world while maintaining an exceptional food safety record.

One of these companies is Summit Premium Tree Nuts. Their company works closely with the top industry tree nut processors to provide high quality, consistent products year round to the U.S. domestic market and to their partners and end users in over 70 countries.

Summit provides a wide range of fresh, consistent walnuts to fulfill your specific requirements and applications including; Chandler, Hartley, Howard, Tulare and Vina varieties, in halves, pieces, or both pieces and halves.

A company representative explained, “All of our major markets in the Middle East and Asia have been effected one way or another by the current tariffs. The main market effected was China. China is the largest producer of walnuts in the world, most is consumed domestically. However, there still was a decent amount of CA walnuts being imported into mainland China. With higher tariffs it made it next to impossible to ship directly to China. Instead the little that was purchased had to be shipped through the “grey” channels, via Haiphong and Vietnam. The spot price inside China, due again to China producing walnuts, was much lower than other nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts. The importers in Hong Kong and Haiphong have more profit and incentive to bring in large quantities of these other nuts.”

“Turkey also raised their tariffs in response to the US steel tariffs and that market still has not recovered fully. India placed a 100% duty on CA walnuts making it next to impossible to ship into India. Currently our largest markets for walnuts are Dubai, Turkey, Spain and Germany.”

Another global walnut suppler is Zohar Farms, located in Oakdale, California. According to Zohar Farms website their business is all about “access, quality, and price, in that order.” Zohar Farms provides you with access to products in bulk, packaged in 25 lb., or 50 lb. cardboard boxes, and generally ships worldwide to your destination port in either a 20 or 40 foot container. For retail and foodservice, they supply products in consumer ready to eat packaging in 4 ounces up to 5 pound pouches or bags.

They will also provide you with full assistance in designing your brand, packaging, and product line.

“We grow, harvest, process, bottle, source, provide private label consumer ready to eat packaging, and market a diverse range of healthy products, including Tree Nuts: Almonds, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Pistachios and Walnuts. Dried Fruit: Apricots, Blueberries, Cherries, Cranberries, Prunes, and Raisins. Hot topping sauces and Preserves”, their website explains.

“There is incredible power in the Zohar Farms family of products to inspire healthier choices and to support your customers’ needs. As farmers, we believe that what you put into your body matters. The most nutritious and best-tasting foods are those that are from nature.”

According to Don Nay, CEO, Zohar Farms, Inc. “our specialty is only agriculture related. So in speaking of agriculture related products, the California Almond and the California Pistachio is the number 1 seller followed by California walnuts generally sold whole and in-shell. It's more cost effective for import buyers to process these products in their own plants. It's the opposite domestically.”

When asked how the current tariffs have affected his walnut sales he added, “the tariffs are not a significant factor to our sales. Our Chinese buyers continue to buy. Currently, the largest markets for walnuts is not overseas, it's Canada. Then, the South East Asia region.”

The best way to get more information about the packaging services Zohar Farms provides is to send them an email using their “Contact Us” page at Once they know what your needs are they can assist you in achieving your specific product.

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