THE nation's nut sector has received a boost to the tune of $550,000 thanks to the federal government.
The Australian Nut Industry Council received the grant to help launch a market expansion program in a bid to give the products more market share overseas.
It's hoped the program will help bolster market diversification and sustainability, as well as grow Australia's clean and green reputation.
In 2019-2020, the industry exported more than $1 billion worth of nuts and had a net value of production of $1.14 billion in that time.
The grant will put in place a two-pronged strategy to increase the market share for Australian nut growers.
The project draws on industry research into high-growth markets for Aussie nuts including the UK and India.
Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud said the Australian Nut Industry Council will use the information to look at market research, including consumer behaviour, supply chains and currency risk.
"The funding will also look to take advantage of our international reputation for safe, quality and sustainably produced agricultural goods," Mr Littleproud said.
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"This will include climate change adaptation, biosecurity, water use, soil and product traceability.
"Together, these two projects will enable consumers to know that they are buying a high-quality, sustainably produced product."
ANIC executive officer Cathy Beaton said the grant was a chance to validate the industry's reputation both overseas in the evolving marketplace expectations.
"In order to sustain a larger export industry, we need to have new and innovative techniques at home," Ms Beaton said.
"One of the best things we can do is develop an on-farm measurement and reporting framework and improve whole-of-industry reporting.
"We know that Australian products are of excellent quality. We know that Australian farmers have sustainable processes.
"What this will do is provide iron-clad evidence to reassure the consumer."
Rural Bank's recently released Australian agriculture mid-year outlook noted that the global almond supply will remain high with significant almond production also forecast in California, the world largest producer, with additional plantings expected to offset the impact of recent drought upon the almond crop.
"Global export demand for nuts, particularly almonds, remain strong although a decline in Australian exports to China over the past 12 months of 33 per cent has negatively impacted demand," the report said.
"A 16 per cent,15pc and 11pc increase in exports to India, Vietnam and Japan respectively has helped to offset the reduced nut exports to China."
Rural Bank also said strong global almond production will see prices soften over the coming months.
"Select Harvests, one of Australia's largest almond producers, has forecast prices will decline by a further five per cent over the short term with prices already considered below average," the report said.
"Ongoing export demand will offer some price support for almonds while any further deterioration in seasonal conditions in California will likely drive prices higher over the medium term."
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