The Growing Pecan Industry and Challenges in the American Pecan Market
The pecan industry in the United States has experienced substantial growth over the past decade, driven by increasing demand for pecans. However, growers are facing challenges in scaling up production to meet the rising demand. This market report examines the growth of the pecan industry, its success in global markets, and the obstacles growers face in taking control of their boards and ensuring transparency in the supply chain. (pecanreport.com)
Growth of the Pecan Industry
The American pecan industry has witnessed significant growth, thanks to efforts to increase awareness about pecans on both local and international levels. Starting from Georgia, pecan growers explored markets around the world and achieved remarkable success with the American Pecan brand. By bypassing secondary traders and establishing direct relationships with consumers and buyers, growers have been able to deliver higher quality products, resulting in increased demand.
Success in Global Markets
China has emerged as a consistent buyer, offering ample opportunities for direct business between growers and buyers. Similarly, the European Union (EU) market has shown potential, although the direct relationships between growers and buyers are still evolving. By eliminating various middlemen from the supply chain, the pecan industry has experienced positive effects, such as lower prices for buyers, increased profits for growers, and enhanced product quality for end users.
Challenges in Board Control and Transparency
Despite the industry's success, there are major hurdles to overcome to improve customer experiences and continue the industry's growth. One significant challenge is regaining control of crucial boards within the industry. While local and regional boards are under growers' control, the most important boards are influenced by brokers and shellers with vested interests in suppressing information and maintaining supply chain opacity, creating a divide between customers and growers.
American Pecan Council's Role
The American Pecan Council, funded by growers, has played a vital role in marketing pecans in various markets. The council's choice of marketing firm has yielded positive outcomes for the industry. However, concerns arise regarding the lack of transparency, constant data changes without explanation, and refusal to pursue information beneficial to growers. Additionally, there have been instances of council staff favoring shellers' projects without being accountable to the growers who fund them.
The Need for Transparency and Accountability
Transparency and accountability are essential for the industry's long-term success. Some growers have faced resistance from the council when seeking information and have encountered pushback for raising concerns about improper logo usage and other issues. This raises questions about who truly controls and operates the board, and highlights the need for transparency and inclusivity.