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German Magazine Partnership Emphasizes Sustainability, Nutrition


Germans love almonds for their taste and the variety of ways they can be used in recipes. And like millions of consumers around the world, people in Germany also want to be reassured that the foods they eat – including almonds – are nutritious and grown in an environmentally responsible way. 

With those two concerns in mind, the Almond Board of California formed an editorial partnership with one of the best-known German women’s lifestyle magazines, Brigitte. A selection of articles and videos are currently live in both the print and online versions of Brigitte and Brigitte Be Green, its sister publication with a focus on sustainable living. 

Print articles in Brigette (above) and Brigette Be Green featured grower Christine Gemperle and tells the industry’s water and zero waste stories.

It is the first editorial partnership designed specifically for the German market, said Kath Martino, Deputy Director, Europe and Strategic Communications Lead for the Almond Board of California. She said the goal was to educate Germans about how California almonds are not just healthy but grown responsibly, too. 

“Most importantly, it addresses head-on the single biggest concern Germans have about California almonds – water use,” Martino said.  

The magazine includes an online interview and video featuring almond grower Christine Gemperle, who shares her experience in areas such as water efficiency, whole orchard recycling, the use of cover crops and zero waste to show how almond farmers are part of the climate change solution.  

For instance, the headline on one story asks the question “Healthy AND sustainable?” Gemperle provides the answer. 

“As climate change makes California more vulnerable to water shortages, farmers are eager to use this precious resource wisely,” Gemperle explained. “After decades of research, they have learned to use water as efficiently as possible, reducing consumption per pound of almonds by 33 percent between the 1990s and 2010s. By 2025, they aim to achieve another 20 percent and have already achieved 15%.” 

The story goes on to say that 85% of California almond growers use demand-oriented irrigation scheduling, soil-moisture sensors and micro-irrigation to water their trees only when and as much is needed.

Sustainability and nutrition are important messages in Germany, which ranks first in Europe and fifth internationally in almond consumption. Germany is one of the top importers of California almonds, accounting for 119 million pounds in 2021-22 and 157 million pounds the year before (shipments were down in 2021-22 because of COVID-related issues).  

Brigette Be Green Article

In addition to the video and online article, the partnership also includes two print articles: one in Brigitte and the other in Brigitte Be Green. These print articles go even deeper into telling the industry’s water and zero waste stories, and they touch on topics such as family farming and the decades of sustainability research invested by the industry.  

Gemperle also stresses another key point that is important to German consumers – zero waste. More and more, every part of the almond is used in some way – kernel, shell, hull and the tree itself. 

  • The kernels – the almonds we eat – serve up 13 grams of good unsaturated fats (with only 1 gram of saturated fat), 6 grams of plant protein per serving and are rich in essential nutrients. 

  • The shells and hulls are used as livestock feed and bedding, and research is exploring new uses such as using shells to strengthen recycled plastic and reduce new plastic, and hulls as a food ingredient. 

  • The trees store a lot of carbon and at the end of their lives they get returned to the ground as wood chips, sequestering 5 tons of carbon per hectare (about 2½ acres), equivalent to living car-free for a year for each acre of land. 

“Nothing is wasted with almonds,” Gemperle assured the German audience. 

The stories also touch on the health attributes of almonds and include comments from German nutritionist Rebecca Kunz. 

“Almonds contain valuable nutrients like 6 grams of protein per serving that provides energy for the day,” said Kunz, who described the nuts as “little power packs that help us glow from the inside out.”