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California Walnut Industry Delivers High-Quality Crop

FOLSOM, Calif., Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2009 walnut harvest, currently underway in the California Central Valley, is estimated to be 415,000 short tons according to USDA NASS California Field Office estimates, a number which will be confirmed in February 2010. Overall, the California walnut crop has increased by 74% since 2000, though the current estimate is 4.4% lighter than last year's record crop of 434,301 short tons.


According to California Walnut Commission Chairman Sam Keiper, "Walnut growers have experienced good growing conditions this year despite 100 degree temperatures lasting more than one week during summer months. This year's crop is not last year's but it's a high-quality crop and we're very happy with it."

Walnuts continue to enjoy strong consumer preference because they are the only nut that contains a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) the plant based omega-3 essential fatty acid required by the human body. As one of the best food sources of omega-3s, a one ounce serving of walnuts provides 2.5 grams of ALA.(1)

Due to the strength of clinical research supporting benefits in cardiovascular health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a qualified health claim for walnuts in 2004.(2)

"The California walnut industry consistently produces high-quality walnuts while maintaining a superior food safety record which is becoming increasingly important as consumers seek out food products to improve their well being," notes Dennis A. Balint, Executive Director of the California Walnut Board.

The California walnut industry is comprised of over 4,000 growers and 61 processors, most of which are family businesses working in the fertile California Central Valley. Walnut trees can produce quality nuts for 75 to 100 years and orchards are often passed down from generation to generation.

The California Walnut Board was established in 1948 to represent the walnut growers and handlers of California. The CWB is funded by mandatory assessments of the handlers and is governed by a Federal Walnut Marketing Order. The Board promotes usage of walnuts in the United States through publicity and educational programs as well as funding for walnut production and post-harvest research.

(B-roll and high resolution photography available upon request)

The California walnut industry is made up of over 4,000 growers and 61 handlers. The growers and handlers are represented by two entities, the California Walnut Board (CWB) and the California Walnut Commission (CWC).

California Walnut Board

The Walnut Marketing Board was established in 1948 to represent the walnut growers and handlers of California. In April 2008, the Walnut Marketing Board became the California Walnut Board to provide origin designation to the product it represents. The Board is funded by mandatory assessments of the handlers. The CWB is governed by a Federal Walnut Marketing Order. The Board promotes usage of walnuts in the United States through publicity and educational programs. The Board also provides funding for walnut production and post-harvest research.

California Walnut Commission

The California Walnut Commission, established in 1987, is funded by mandatory assessments of the growers. The Commission is an agency of the State of California that works in concurrence with the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The CWC is mainly involved in health research and export market development activities.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The California Walnut Board (CWB) and California Walnut Commission (CWC) prohibit discrimination in all programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance programs. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the CWB / CWC offices at (916) 922-5888. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). CWB/CWC is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

The California Walnut Board and Commission offices are located at 101 Parkshore Dr., Ste. #250, Folsom, CA 95630

(1) Please note: One ounce of walnuts provides 18g of total fat, 2.5g of monounsaturated fat, 13g of polyunsaturated fat, including 2.5 grams of alpha linolenic acid - the plant based omega-3.

(2) "Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease."

SOURCE California Walnut Board
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