Almondco Australia marked its 70th anniversary celebrations on Sunday night by announcing that its growers are about to receive the third highest return in the past 20 years.
The Renmark-based almond processor and marketer confirmed that the average payment to growers for last year’s crop would be over $6600 per tonne – up 31% on the previous year.
Almondco managing director Brenton Woolston told almost 200 guests at the co-operative’s 70th anninversary dinner at the Renmark Club on Sunday night that 2013 payments would be among the best in recent memory.
“We pride ourselves on maximising the return to our growers,” he said.
“The $6600 is the average price paid for every tonne delivered.
“Our track record speaks for itself. This company has survived and prospered through good times and bad and it is satisfying to be able to reward the risk that our growers take.”
Mr Woolston said the 2013 return was even higher than had been forecast and underlined the changing fortunes for growers, who had all endured a high exchange rate and water shortages in the recent past.
“Global demand is outstripping supply, so the impact on pricing has been significant,” he said.
“Our long term average grower return is almost $5700 per tonne”
Mr Woolston also confirmed that Almondco grower returns would be even higher for the recently harvested 2014 crop.
“Early indications suggest that growers could be in for another 30% increase,” he said.
“We are heading toward returns that could rival the all time high of the 2005 season where they exceeded $9000 a tonne.
“Based on existing sales commitments we have locked away, there will be a significant increase. Just how much will be advised to our growers later in the year.”
“There is only a very few regions in the world where almonds are grown commercially in large volumes and we are in the heart of one of the best. We would love to see more horticulturally minded people make the switch.”