June 18, 2013
Turlock, Calif.Blue Diamond Growers, the almond cooperative founded in 1910, today opened the first phase of its local manufacturing and processing plant.
The investment reflects a commitment to food safety and will meet the growing worldwide demand for almond ingredients, according to the almond processing and marketing company.
The plant "supports the significant growth in our global almond ingredients business with a facility that sets new standard for food safety," Mark Jansen, Blue Diamond President and CEO, said in a statement. "While increasing our capacity and enhancing our capabilities, we are also able to produce efficiencies that allow us to confidently invest, knowing there is significant payback to growers for their investment."
The 200,000 square-foot plant, which is located on 88 acres, represents nearly half of a three-phased capacity enhancement project scheduled to be completed over the next decade, the cooperative said. Blue Diamond previously revealed plans to hire up to 100 employees to support phase one of the plant.
The entire project will encompass around 500,000 square feet.
Earlier this year, Blue Diamond announced expanding its Sacramento, Calif. headquarters to include a 6,500 square-foot research center.
Blue Diamond is owned by half of California's almond growers who produce more than 80% of the world's almond supply, according to the cooperative.
The cooperative made its last major investment in 1968 in its Salida Plant. At the time, California was producing 140 million pounds of almonds; last year's crop was predicted to yield more than 2 billion pounds.
Jansen said almonds continue to rank as the leading nut in new food products globally. According to the cooperative, the California almond crop market is valued at $6 billion.
Blue Diamond achieved a record $1 billion in 2011-2012 fiscal sales.
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