An Outsider’s Look at the 2024 Nut Industry

The International Dried Fruit and Nut Congress was held last month in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. The crowd in attendance was as diverse as the industry that drove individuals from more than 58 countries to converge on the Vancouver Convention Center for three days of networking and education. To be honest, when I have purchased snack nuts from the grocery store or gas station in the past, I never gave much thought to where they came from and how they came to be in this handy package for me to enjoy. Or, to the individuals who were instrumental in making it all happen. Those days are behind me.


After an incredibly beautiful start to the week playing Furry Creek Golf Course with a group of nut industry professionals (complete with bear warnings on the golf cart – only in Canada!), we dove into the substance of the conference. I had the opportunity to sit in on round tables for several of the commodities being discussed, including pistachios, which I realized I had fairly limited knowledge about. Did you know that they are biennial? Well, now you do. Also, if you’ve never looked up how cashews grow, please do yourself a favor and Google it right now. Fascinating! Aside from the interesting tidbits I picked up, I also gain valuable insight to which markets are thriving, which ones have changes on the horizon and what industry challenges might be forthcoming.


One thing that struck me in particular about the nut industry was that even though it is an internationally diverse collection of professionals, they all made a point of making a first time attendee like me feel incredibly welcome. I can see why the longevity of careers in this world exists at the level that it does.

As a palletizing company, we have a unique position in the marketplace. From fresh produce to ice, aggregates, flours and seeds, we have a customer base that is much broader than most. Having the opportunity to experience and learn about the industries we serve is something I cherish. Being in a position to serve, to add value and contribute to the safety and quality of a business’ operations is one that we are grateful to be in as Team Verbruggen.

To the members of the PTNPA and the INC – thank you for making this outsider feel more than welcome amongst your numbers. I look forward to many years of watching your businesses grow and thrive!


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