Last month, the Almond Board of California’s (ABC) global food professional and health professional teams hosted the first-ever Virtual Orchard Tour. Food and beverage professionals, sustainability professionals, registered dietitians and nutritionists, and trade media from the U.S., Europe and Mexico attended this two-day experience, which featured on-site, in-orchard grower interviews as well as Q&As highlighting California almond growers’ on-farm improvements and approaches to growing almonds sustainably. Attendees also learned more about the almond lifecycle, California agriculture’s unique advantages in environmental responsibility, pollination, resource management, and existing and emerging almond nutrition research.
According to Harbinder Maan, Associate Director of Trade Stewardship at ABC, this event provided a great opportunity to educate food and health professionals on almond growers’ responsible farming practices, almonds’ best-in-class nutritional appeal, and the California Almond Sustainability Program, or CASP.
“The event featured growers from large and small operations across the Central Valley to provide attendees with a representative sample of how California almond growers drive incremental improvements in a variety of ways, demonstrating how there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to responsible almond farming,” said Maan.
910 professionals from the target audiences registered to attend the virtual tour. After the tour, ABC created an online portal to allow attendees to watch recordings of the tour’s offerings – and registrants continue returning to the portal to watch those recordings. (If you’d like to view the content yourself, please first complete the registration for the event by June 20, after which the content will be transferred over to ABC’s California Almonds YouTube channel for ongoing use and amplification to other food and health professionals.
“The content proved to be successful, compelling and educational in a virtual format, allowing ABC to bring the orchard experience and expertise to a larger, more global audience than would be possible at an in-person event,” said Maan.
In fact, initial post-event survey feedback indicates that 81% of attendees found the sustainability and nutrition sessions to be anywhere from “very” to “extremely” useful to their profession or organization.
“Loved the sessions, content, and format. The experts were very knowledgeable and discussed complex topics (such as the science and technology behind sustainability) clearly and coherently,” remarked one attendee.
Another attendee said, “Thought the virtual tour and presentations were even better than anticipated! Extremely well done… interesting, informative & progressive. Diminished my concerns about water usage.”