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California walnuts to cash-in on India's growing market: CWC

Last year, the 2014-15 crop year saw shipment increase quite a bit with 5.2 million pounds of inshell walnuts going to India and 84,500 pounds of kernels.

PTI|
Updated: Nov 01, 2015, 03.45 PM IST
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Last year, the 2014-15 crop year saw shipment increase quite a bit with 5.2 million pounds of inshell walnuts going to India and 84,500 pounds of kernels.
Last year, the 2014-15 crop year saw shipment increase quite a bit with 5.2 million pounds of inshell walnuts going to India and 84,500 pounds of kernels.
SAN FRANCISCO: Buoyed by record production, California walnuts, accounting for 99 per cent of commercial US supply and 71 per cent of world trade, is confident of making its presence felt in India as the message of quality and health benefits of the healthy nut spreads, officials say.

"Shipments of California walnuts to India for the 2013-14 crop year, our first year with market access, was about 310,000 in-shell pounds and 42,000 pounds of kernels," Assistant Marketing Director, International, of California Walnut Commission (CWC) Jennifer Williams said.

Last year, the 2014-15 crop year saw shipment increase quite a bit with 5.2 million pounds of inshell walnuts going to India and 84,500 pounds of kernels.

"We feel the India market will continue to grow as the message of California quality spreads and the health messages continue gain popularity," she said.

In 2013, India allowed import of walnuts from the US.

"Inshell exports of walnut to India have been significant," CWC's Senior Marketing Director, International, Michelle McNeil said. At the same time, she said exports of shelled walnut to India was still small but had long term potential.

Walnuts are a semi-fresh food, meaning that with proper storage and handling walnuts are good to eat for up to one calendar year, she said.

She said the CWC's efforts are to make available to Indian consumers good quality California walnuts round-the- year.

McNeil said the CWC was confident that the Indian bakery, confectionery and ice cream industries would readily accept Californian walnuts which were produced, processed and packed in state-of-the-art facilities.

"We are excited about the possibilities in India regarding California walnuts," John Mundt, owner of Alpine Pacific Nut Co., Inc., one of the top American walnut producer and processor, said.

"We feel India has a lot of untapped potential with regards to the population size as well as the desire for people to start eating what is considered a healthy diet/life style," Mundt said.

"We are hoping to double our volume this year may be to 30 container loads," he said.

Walnuts are an ideal complement to the traditional vegetarian based diet because they contain alpha-linolenic acid/omega-3 fatty acid which is currently deficient in the Indian diet, Carol Berg Sloan, Nutrition Consultant to CWC said.

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