This year’s almond crop has produced the smallest almonds in 40 years, meaning potential problems for food manufacturers that rely on a particular size of whole or sliced almond, according to Blue Diamond Growers.
For slices, the problem is technical rather than purely aesthetic, considering that smaller almonds tend to be more difficult to slice.
California produces about 80% of the worlds almond supply so any change in quality there affects the whole supply chain.
As a result food businesses may need to look carefully at their raw material specifications and finished product specifications to create a risk mitigation plan.
Bearing in mind the risk that approved suppliers may struggle to deliver sufficient volume against pre-agreed specifications it could make sense to start supplier risk assessment and supplier approval of alternative suppliers as soon as possible to get in front of this issue.
Supplier monitoring and QA checks on intake should be stepped up.
If there is any risk of not being able to meet customer specifications get out there now and start talking to customers to either modify the food specs or get a derogation.