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    American Almonds Recalled from Morocco Due to Salmonella

    American almonds dominated 83% of the Moroccan market in 2021.

    26 Aug 2022

    Rabat - Blue Diamond Growers, a California-based agricultural cooperative, has recalled more than 150 tonnes of “whole brown almonds” manufactured after a sample tested positive for salmonella.

    The company initiated the recall on August 5 at the request of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    On August 19, Blue Diamond Growers confirmed to Food Safety News the complete withdrawal of potentially impacted almonds from Morocco, Germany, and Canada, as well as three US states, California, Colorado, and Illinois.

    American almonds enjoy a high market share in the Moroccan market estimated at 83% in 2021 due to Morocco’s removal of import duties in 2019.

    A recent study by Rekolt confirmed that tax exemption increased the share of American almonds in the Moroccan market up from 21% in 2021, which represented a major blow to the less competitive local production estimated at 30,000 tonnes.

    The study also noted that Moroccan consumers prefer to buy “very affordable” American almonds over Moroccan almonds with a “sophisticated flavor, nice shape, and great oil content.”

    Morocco and the US signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in June 2004, but the deal entered into force on January 1, 2006.

    More than 120 American companies have operated in the North African country since the implementation of the FTA, leading the US goods trade surplus in Morocco to increase from $79 million in 2005 to $1.8 billion in 2011, accordingn to data from the Office of the US Trade Representative.

    As of 2020, Moroccan exports to the US reached $1.13 billion. The export list included minerals and chemical fertilizers (21%), planes, helicopters, and spacecraft (10%), as well as processed fish (6.73%), and citrus (5.56%).

    Meanwhile, 5.2% of Moroccan imports in 2020 came from the United States, with refined petroleum and petroleum gas topping the list as they represented 14.8% and 13% of total Moroccan imports from the US.

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