Riverland Almonds is one of the three major handlers of almonds in Australia. The South Australian company had its beginnings in 1986 in Renmark. New and increased plantings on the southern side of the River Murray led to the establishment of a new factory in 1997 at Loxton, a town of eight thousand people, a bit less than three hours drive from the major city of Adelaide. The new state of the art, custom built, stand alone, facility has been modeled on the best facilities in California, where over 70 per cent of the world’s almonds are grown and processed.
The Riverland region is recognized as having the best climate in the world for almond growing. Its ideal climate conditions include hot summers plus normally dry weather in the late summer and autumn harvest period. Added to that is the undulating topography which enables low frost risk areas to be selected for plantings plus well drained soils and adequate irrigation water.
The Riverland Almonds growers and the processing plant are fully accredited to the internationally recognized SQF 2000 standard. They use integrated pest management systems to grow the almonds without using insecticides which is a perfect example of “working in harmony with nature”. The growers diligently research disease control and support the application of advanced horticultural techniques.
Entomologists are employed to monitor and manage the ideal ecosystem to produce the finest almonds with no pesticide residues. Mindful that the use of insecticides is disruptive to biological control, entomologists use procedures to encourage beneficial birds and insects into the orchards. Harmful pests and insects are also biologically controlled by the introduction of predatory mites. These mites live in perfectly created habitats in the lush cover crops of rye and special clover varieties planted between rows of trees. These cover crops prevent wind erosion, add essential nitrogen to the soil, help filtration of water and provide a safe haven for beneficial predatory mites. The fruits of their effort are regularly tested to prove that there are no pesticide residues.