Sustainability is important to the California walnut industry. The California Walnut Board has supported sustainable growing practices through its production research program for over 20 years.
The California Walnut Board has been a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program since 2000. The EPA has recognized California Walnut Board as a silver member of the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program reserved for members that are higher-achieving environmental stewards. In 2014, the California Walnut Board received the California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s highest environmental honor when it was awarded the Integrated Pest Management Innovator Award for the achievements of the Production Research Advisory Council’s Entomology Working Group.
The California Walnut Sustainable Program focuses on integrated pest management, energy efficiency, water quality, air quality, nutrient efficiency, and food safety. Over the past two decades, the industry has shown reduction in pesticide use, improvements in energy efficiency in walnut drying, and improvement of surface water quality. This includes improved nutrient and irrigation efficiency and improved water quality. Current research is identifying and testing potential ways the Industry could further improve food safety which could contribute to best management practices for walnut growers.
The program is economically viable for walnut growers, follows environmentally responsible practices and is socially acceptable by improving the quality of life for growers, neighbors, and consumers. The California Walnut Board is committed to investing in research that will help the industry continue to raise the bar for sustainability. The 4,000+ growers and 100+ handlers in the California walnut industry are committed to continuing to produce high-quality, sustainable, nutritious, and safe walnuts for people to enjoy worldwide.