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Background to the case

Discuss about the Strategic Circumstances and Effects of Nut Theft for California USA.

Burglary and theft has for a long time been a problem faced by major producing and processing companies around globe. Too much losses had been suffered by companies as a result of theft (Clarke, R. and Eck, J.E., 2014). The company’s management comes up with strategic plans to eradicate and get rid of theft problems or rather reduce it to the lowest level possible (Dorminey, J., Fleming, A.S., Kranacher, M.J. and Riley Jr, R.A., 2012). The problem is all over the globe and is faced by both small and big business companies, so size of the business is not an exception. The effect of burglary can vary from one company to another depending on the value of what have been made away with. In response to the rising cases of burglary and theft by workers and any other person within the business premises, security alert need to be made and even installing the CCTV cameras to help in the observation of every corner of the business premises (Schumacher, M., Fernandez-Buglioni, E., Hybertson, D., Buschmann, F. and Sommerlad, P., 2013). Nut producing and processing companies in California have been victims of the circumstance of theft and burglary. Development of technology had come with positive and negative effects. Burglars tend to bank on the weaknesses of the systems used by the companies and engage in theft with no physical theft activity involved (Johnson, C., Loc Ets Inc, 2012). Strong security plans and strategies put in place to combat this menace will be discussed in this report in the later sections. Not only security measures could be enough to stop theft, but also considering the factors that subject the perpetrators of acts into such activities. Variety of factors can be considered in addressing such kind of actions by workers ranging from poor relationship with their bosses at work, lack or low allowance benefits, poor salary pay and many other factors that can be researched on. This report will stick to the strategic circumstances and the effects of nut theft in the state of California.

In the past few years and particularly the year 2013, thousands of pounds worth millions of dollars were lost by the California nut companies (Schermer, P.J., Amcor Industries, Inc., 2015). Increasing value of California nut crop was the center cause of the rising nut theft activities. Some of the involved individuals were the workers in their respective companies where the truck drivers drive away with pounds of nuts (Ashraf, A., Dinar, A., Monteiro, É. and Gaston, T., 2016). Nut burglary occurs at all stages including the harvesting time, transportation time and the processing time. In that case therefore, strong security measures need to be taken and put in place at all the stages by which nuts are to be taken through. The problem of California nut theft are instigated by the increase in the nuts’ black market (Utley, C., Nguyen, T., Roubtsova, T., Coggeshall, M., Ford, T.M., Grauke, L.J., Graves, A.D., Leslie, C.A., McKenna, J., Woeste, K. and Yaghmour, M.A., 2013). The markets are readily available for the produce and their prices are lucrative that could be the major cause sustaining burglary activities. Reluctance of the people of the public to report and shun black markets have played a big role in hiking nuts theft activities. Technological development and the emergence of new technologies everyday have made activities easier for the workers in offices which remains at the praise every passing moment (Hall, J. and Wagner, M., 2012). Surprisingly, the same technology is as well used in theft and burglary activities which may harm the business operation. Computer systems used in business activities should be coded properly with advanced possible skills to avoid hacking and cracking into the systems to cause theft. Laws meant to protect nuts businesses should be tightened and have all the stakeholders and party to the business given the freedom of issuing reports to the law keepers so that legal actions can be taken against those involved in nuts theft activities. The increase in nuts theft activities are so alarming that the industry leaders felt that the strategic plans and the effects of nuts theft be investigated.

Vulnerabilities in California nut industry supply chain and how they are exploited by thieves

Figure 1: California nut industry supply chain

California nut industry supply chain

In California, nut farming covers over 40,000 h where different types of nuts are grown. They are then harvested from the farms where they are packed and loaded into the trucks for transportation to the processing companies. Transportation plays a big role in all the sectors in acquiring raw materials for use in the production of every useful products (Grabara, J., Kolcun, M. and Kot, S., 2014). In the processing companies, the nuts are processed and converted into finished products ready for consumption by the consumers. All different stages of processing are followed till various end products are obtained. The processed products are then packed according to the consumer needs in the market (Ngo, L.V. and O'cass, A., 2013). The products are then loaded into the trucks for shipments which is either to the local market or international markets. Varied costs are incurred at different levels of production right from the farming, processing and finally to the market (Goodwin, N.R., Ackerman, F. and Kiron, D. eds., 2013). Local shipment of products is less expensive compared to the international shipment to the international markets. Products once taken to the market, they are sold to the consumers in either retail or wholesale.

According to the reports emerging concerning California nut theft, much loss was suffered by companies during shipments. According to Department of transportation database resources, over $500,000 is lost per load of the processed nuts by thieves who steal or forge the trucking company details and drive away with the goods. In response to this report, Setton Farms and Horizon Nut Company reported to have lost huge loads of products to thieves who used shipment documents that seemed legitimate. Similar incidents had also been reported by other companies such as Hughson Nut Company, Almond processor and many others in the past few years. Theft of California nuts is still a great menace since thieves use methods that raise no alarm as no violence is involved in the process (Thorburn, C.C. and Kull, C.A., 2015). According to views of Matt Calkins, a Butte County Sherriff’s Department, high valued loads are targeted by the thieves using legitimate sources from the transportation industry. Access to legitimate transportation documents are majorly accessed by the thieves through the internet. Loads are taken by the thieves just before or after the weekend as reported by the chief executive officer of Transit Risk Management in Long Beach Calif, Sam Wadhwani. Stolen nuts products are then shipped to the international markets even though some are recovered through tracking by law enforcement officers. From the fries in theft activities of California nut at the shipment moments, the companies and all the affected parties brought up the idea of tightening security regarding shipment of nuts. Call for creating more roadblocks was raised with the aim of reducing the risk of nut theft. Other measures that were brought on the table for implementations were interrogating the truck drivers for more information about shipment, taking their photographs and finger prints upon the release of nuts and nut products for shipment.

Quantitative analysis of the case

Table 1: Californian nut industry value in US dollars


$ Billion

Growth (%)















(Source: From market line)

California nut industry value right from the year 2006 to 2010 was as recorded in the above table. In the year 2007, the value of California nut industry grew by 23.7% pumping a whole some of 7.2 billion dollars into the US economy. In the following year, the industry pumped 7.1 billion dollars which was a negative growth of 1.6% as compared to the previous year. The records became even worse in 2009 when a negative growth of 14.2% was recorded with 6.1 billion dollars coming from the industry in that same year. In the year 2010, a positive growth of 18.2% was recorded resulting to 7.2 billion dollars pumped to the economy. These values showed how much the California nut industry was contributing to the economic growth of the US.

Table 2: Total cost of nut theft to the Californian nut industry


Theft in $ million







(Source: from market line)

California Nut theft started to pick in the rise from the year 2012 and has been in the rise since then as the measures were still underway to curb the problem. California nut industry being a contributor to the economic growth, harm to the industry causes harm to the country’s economic growth too. As in table 2, from 2012 to 2014 the industry lost a whole some of 3.0 million dollars due to theft. The case became worse in the year 2015 when the loss posted in that year surpassed for any other reported year with a whopping 4.6 million dollars lost from the industry still as a result of theft. In the year 2016, loss was still recorded but lower than that recorded in the precedent year. Various methods had been identified by which California nut industry was losing their products to thieves. Forgery of shipment documentations took the lead with several pounds of products lost to the thieves through such manner. All these had raised alarm and now measures are put in place to look into the matter to clear the mess.

Table 3: Theft in stages of California supply chain


Amount lost in ($ million)

Farm to processing


Processing to market


(From market line)

Reports from the California nut growers showed that some thieves could break into their farm to steal from there but the effect in terms of the cost of the nuts stolen from the farm point is minimal and therefore the amount lost in US dollars estimated to be less than one million. Farmers were then advised to install CCTV cameras that would be helping them in monitoring their farms hence boosting security to their farm produce. From processing companies to the market, a serious loss is then incurred in the California nuts. Fraudulent transportation papers used by the drivers make the truck drivers driving away with nuts costing 7.6 million dollars thus becoming the most critical stage for theft of California nuts resulting to loss in California nut industry.

A number of ways are therefore brought forth to fight by all means possible the loss of California nuts to thieves. While at the farms, security measure proposed to bring solution to the problem of loss of nuts to thieves was installation of the CCTV in the farm. This will enable the security officers and the owner of the farm to note all the activities going on in the farm. To reduce loss from shipment, drivers were to be interrogated concerning the shipment order by the companies and also taking their photo and finger prints for security reasons. More roadblocks were proposed to be increased to provide more truckload check points to reduce nut theft.  

Table 4: Cost savings to California nut industry


Amount to be saved from theft in ($ million)

Farm to processing


Processing to market


Loss in each supply stage can be saved and have the industry save 1 million dollars and above from theft from farms to processing stages and 7.6 million dollars and above can as well be saved by the industry only if the above proposed solutions are implemented leaving none of them to chance.

From the results provided, it was widely discovered that California industry had experienced huge loss of money from theft. A single nut theft incident was recorded in 2009, but from 2012 to date the California nut theft had become rampant. Agricultural sector Economy might be dwindled if the theft cases continue to be on the rise. The stage of the supply chain for which California nut are seriously lost was from processing companies to the market where about 7.6 million dollars had been lost. A number of solutions have been devised to reduce the threat of California nut theft to California nut industry. Just to mention a few solutions; CCTV installation in the farms and many more.


To come to conclusion, nut theft have become a great threat to the growth of California industry. Even though other parts of USA grow nuts but California is the largest nut grower and thus largest nut industry. Almost all the nut processing companies and farms had suffered loss from theft in one way or the other. The rising market of nuts is a compound cause of nut theft as their prices are lucrative. Technology in Transportation department is supposed to be improved so that it can come up with security features of the shipment documents to make it easier for the companies to detect fraudulent papers. Also the companies’ are supposed to improve their technology to detect fake papers.


Ashraf, A., Dinar, A., Monteiro, É. and Gaston, T., 2016. Adaptation In California Agriculture: What Have We Been Assessing For Two And A Half Decades?. Climate Change Economics, 7(02), p.1650001.

Clarke, R. and Eck, J.E., 2014. Become a problem-solving crime analyst. Routledge.

Dorminey, J., Fleming, A.S., Kranacher, M.J. and Riley Jr, R.A., 2012. The evolution of fraud theory. Issues in Accounting Education, 27(2), pp.555-579.

Goodwin, N.R., Ackerman, F. and Kiron, D. eds., 2013. The consumer society (Vol. 2). Island Press.

Grabara, J., Kolcun, M. and Kot, S., 2014. The role of information systems in transport logistics. International Journal of Education and Research, 2(2), pp.28-36.

Hall, J. and Wagner, M., 2012. Integrating sustainability into firms' processes: performance effects and the moderating role of business models and innovation. Business Strategy and the Environment, 21(3), pp.183-196.

Johnson, C., Loc Ets Inc, 2012. Utility box anti-theft lock brackets. U.S. Patent 8,302,796.

Ngo, L.V. and O'cass, A., 2013. Innovation and business success: The mediating role of customer participation. Journal of Business research, 66(8), pp.1134-1142.

Schumacher, M., Fernandez-Buglioni, E., Hybertson, D., Buschmann, F. and Sommerlad, P., 2013. Security Patterns: Integrating security and systems engineering. John Wiley & Sons.

Schermer, P.J., Amcor Industries, Inc., 2015. Fastener. U.S. Patent 9,051,962.

Thorburn, C.C. and Kull, C.A., 2015. Peatlands and plantations in Sumatra, Indonesia: Complex realities for resource governance, rural development and climate change mitigation. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 56(1), pp.153-168.

Utley, C., Nguyen, T., Roubtsova, T., Coggeshall, M., Ford, T.M., Grauke, L.J., Graves, A.D., Leslie, C.A., McKenna, J., Woeste, K. and Yaghmour, M.A., 2013. Susceptibility of walnut and hickory species to Geosmithia morbida. Plant Disease, 97(5), pp.601-607.

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