Iran Nuclear Sanctions A Boon For California Pistachio Farmers

A ban on Iranian pistachios that took effect this week could benefit California farmers, who already grow almost all of the world’s supply of the nut.

KCBS Melissa Culross Reporting:

A previous ban spurred California farmers to start planting more pistachios, and the state quickly surpassed Iran as the world’s top pistachio supplier.

“Iran was the leading producer up until 2008, and that’s when California surpassed Iran’s production,” said Richard Matoian, executive director of the Western Pistachio Association.

The sanctions eliminate Iran as a domestic competitor, although Matoian expected some competition in countries that continue to do business with Iran. He noted that farmers here export 65 percent of the pistachios grown in California.

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