The pecan industry has been growing over the past decade and growers are struggling to increase production as quickly as demand has been increasing.
The American pecan industry has been working to increase awareness about pecans for some time now, starting on a local level, Georgia pecan growers began to explore markets around the globe and quickly found success for the tree nut now known across the US, the American Pecan.
Deciding to bypass the slummy secondary traders in the market, growers soon found success in various markets around the globe finding that when growers take a more direct path to consumers and buyers, better quality products make the journey to the end buyers, funny how that works.
China has turned out to be a consistent buyer and has allowed for more direct business between growers and buyers, the EU is also another quality market but there are fewer direct relationships between growers and buyers, but that too is changing.
Removing the various middlemen from the supply chain seems to be having a positive overall effect on the pecan industry, by lowering prices to buyers, increasing profits to growers while increasing quality to buyers and end users. This new found success for growers is positive but there are still major hurdles that pecan growers must overcome if they expect to continue improving the customer experience and growing the industry.
First growers need to take back control of their most important boards, while growers have local and regional boards that they control, the most important boards are controlled by brokers and shellers who have vested interest in suppressing information and supply chain transparency while working to create a larger divide between customers and growers.
The American Pecan Council was sold as a grower board and is solely funded by growers but does not operate in the best interest of growers. There are some growers that sit on the board but the board is run by brokers and shellers whose interests differ from the average grower. More importantly the staff in key positions know exactly who they work for and who is intended to benefit from the efforts.
Now let me be the first to say that the American Pecan Council has done a significant amount good for the pecan industry, and has done a pretty good job of marketing pecans in various markets, largely because of the great choice in the marketing firm hired by the board. But the amount of effort put into preventing growers from accessing information, the constant changing of the data with no explanation, and the refusal to even pursue basic information that would benefit growers along with the willingness to fund shellers projects with no accountability to the growers who fund it should not be overlooked.
I of course get to see more of this behavior than most growers simply because I am willing to write articles such as this and have an opinion that was not pre-approved by the council staff and their overlords.
Take for example when I exposed the American Pecan Council for attempting to use the American Pecan logo on pecan products from Mexico, the amount of hate I received from council staff has been staggering. That alone should be enough to tell us all who is really running our board.
Again, this is not to say that there are not good people on the board, quite the contrary. I have met some of the best folks I have come across right here on our board in my travels around the world. But these men and women can not change our board with only their few board seats and a meeting every month or so, while key staff members work 40 hrs a week for other interests.
We have to address the issues on our most important boards and make sure that these boards are working for all of us, not just a handful of folks in the supply chain.