Pecan harvest started later this year than in the past seasons with trees ripening 1.5-2 weeks behind the normal schedule. The small change in schedule has caused buyers to wait a slightly longer time for the new crop to be shelled and hit the shelves before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
A shift is happening in the food industry and buyers have become more conscious of where their food comes from, how it was grown and how much the farmer was paid for that food. Huge corporate operations with “fuzzy” supply chains are taking a back seat to small family farms with direct to consumer operations, and the pecan industry is no exception to the shift.
More pecan growers are opting to begin selling the nuts direct to consumers. Over the past few years we have seen market share shift from large corporate shelling operations with questionable supply chains to smaller farm to table operations serving their communities. More and more growers are opting to sell less pecans into the wholesale market and instead retail their own products to their local communities.
The shift is not happening overnight but it is slowly happening. As we have seen over the past few years, when left unchecked the lack of transparency that still exists in parts of the industry can serve to undermine pecan growers’ work and end up allowing inferior products onto the shelves, and ultimately stifle interest. Now with more growers opting to sell directly to consumers we are seeing less issues with supply sources and ultimately a more transparent supply chain with happier customers. This is a trend that we expect to see continue as consumers continue to demand more information about the food they consume.