US Pecan Industry Gaining Ground
Jim Zion is a managing partner and sales with Fresno-based Meridian growers, which develops markets for tree nuts.
“It's an interesting tree nut and the ones that we deal with at Meridian. The production in the United States is scattered from California to Florida. You've got 15 states plus you got Mexico across the border, which supplies a lot of the pecans into the United States, so it's a very fragmented industry,” noted Zion. “And the Federal Marketing Order has been trying to get their hands around everybody and say, we need the market his crop. Pecans are one of the last tree nuts to actually have a collective marketing effort.”
Zion said, all the other major nut crops have done it. “Almonds have done it. Pistachios have done it and walnuts have done it. Pecans are the last ones to do it,” he said.
And it already making a major difference. “We're starting to see some benefits of them creating that Federal Marketing Order, which was finalized in 2016,” noted Zion.
“It’s starting to create a marketing message, getting a health message out, collecting data that he didn't have, so we can look at supply and demand trends, and we're starting to see some of the benefits of that,” explained Zion. “So, I think that the pecan industry is going to start growing. It's been somewhat stagnant. However, I think it's going to start growing as things mature.”