‘Real Excitement’ Surrounds Potential Pecan Relationship with India

Clint ThompsonGeorgia, Pecan

Justin Jones speaks during the Georgia Pecan Association meeting in March.

By Clint Thompson

A trade mission to India in April highlighting pecans was successful. But more education is needed to make exporting pecans to India a reality and not just a dream.

Justin Jones, Georgia pecan grower, chairman of industry relations for the American Pecan Council and co-owner of brand Zorro Pecans, attended the trip and talked about the educational component of this relationship with India.

“I’m very optimistic. There’s a real excitement, not only on our part but also with the buyers and importers in that area. They see it as an opportunity as well, too,” Jones said. “A lot of education has got to take place … the nut importers and the buyers, they understand and know (pecans) because it’s in their world. But as far as the general public, there was a lot of people that we gave some nuts to and they didn’t know what it was.”

Who Attended?

Members of the American Pecan Council, Georgia Department of Agriculture, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, Georgia Pecan Growers Association and Georgia Pecan Commission attended the U.S. Department of Agriculture trade mission to India.

The goal of the mission was to grow the industry in India in hopes of driving exports to the country. The potential of pecans in India is a no-brainer since that country already lives off a nut-based diet, says Jones.

“They consume a world of almonds, walnuts, pistachios, macadamias, that kind of stuff. They do it on account of a health standpoint. Being that you’ve got a product here that can fit in with all of those categories and be healthy, it should be an easy mix in,” Jones said. “It’s just a matter of trying to get retailers to take the chance; this is coming, this is new. I understand you’ve never sold it before but just try it. It’s kind of a crawl before you walk kind of a deal.”

About the American Pecan Council

The American Pecan Council (APC) is a group of pecan growers and shellers whose life work is dedicated to growing, harvesting and processing America’s native nut. Founded in 2016 through a Federal Marketing Order, the APC’s mission is to promote the many benefits of the American Pecan and help tell the story of this truly unique nut. With oversight by the USDA, APC aims to build consumer demand, develop markets and establish industry standards. APC is based in Fort Worth, Texas, and funded by pecan handlers in 15 pecan-producing states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. To learn more visit www.AmericanPecan.com.