The Hazelnut Marketing Board (HMB) is investing funds awarded via the USDA Agriculture Trade Promotion Program (ATP) in a new research initiative designed to identify and access new global markets.
Oregon is home to 99% of the U.S. hazelnut crop, and the state’s growers have met increasing global demand for premium quality hazelnuts by expanding acreage from 29,000 acres to 85,000 over the past decade. From 2016 to 2018, the U.S. produced an average of 37,277 MT of hazelnuts, annually. Roughly 46% of U.S. hazelnuts (17,147 MT) were exported abroad. Over 90% of hazelnut exports are ultimately destined for China.
With USDA ATP funding, HMB has commissioned the North Hill Group, a consulting firm specializing in global market access initiatives for American agriculture. Meredith Nagely, manager of the Hazelnut Marketing Board, said, “We are pleased to be working with leading foreign market development experts to refine our long-term roadmap for Oregon hazelnut exports.”
The North Hill Group will conduct a global review of key foreign markets, including Canada, China, Japan, South Korea and India. The Oregon hazelnut industry identified these countries as potentially promising export markets. The results of this review will enable the industry to strategically prioritize markets as part of its overall diversification strategy.
While this initiative is ongoing, the HMB will continue to maintain existing relationships with hazelnut importers, distributors, processors, and retailers in China and other markets, providing information about U.S. hazelnuts, and offering assistance with issues related to importing and merchandising U.S. hazelnuts.