Almond Industry Report – San Francisco, CA June 24, 2012: Mr. Bian Zhenhu, President of the China Chamber of Commerce for The Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By- Products, Beijing, China and Mr. Bill Morecraft, General Manager of Blue Diamond Almonds Global Ingredient Division, Sacramento, California, jointly signed a memorandum of understanding for Chinese companies to buy at least $50 million of Blue Diamond almonds in the next 12 months.
California’s Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Wang Chou, Vice Minister of Commerce for China, were on hand for the signing ceremony at San Francisco City Hall.
Morecraft stated, “Blue Diamond’s Global Ingredient Division pioneered bringing almonds to China nearly 40 years ago. Since then, China has grown to be the largest importer of almonds in the world. Shipments to China, for the 2011 crop year through June, have reached nearly 230 million pounds, a 41% over last year.” The products going to China include the almond varieties “in-shell” or kernels – almonds destined to be used as ingredients for snacking or to be used in manufacturing.