The 110th Blue Diamond Growers Annual Meeting countered the challenges of 2020 with a sense of accomplishment for the present and optimism for the future.
“We are a growth business by choice, and I’m confident in declaring that the best is yet to come,” said Mark Jansen, President and CEO, Blue Diamond Growers.
In his virtual presentation to Blue Diamond almond growers on Nov. 18, Jansen acknowledged the numerous obstacles the co-op overcame during the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors.
“With trade wars, port-related receiving disruptions, market price corrections, foodservice shut-downs, and a fire at the Sacramento Blue Diamond plant, it was a tough year to sell almonds,” said Jansen. “Yet, Blue Diamond prevailed in continuing to build a remarkably strong business in support of a 3-billion-pound almond crop – the largest ever in our 110-year history.”
Jansen reported that in 2020 alone, Blue Diamond was able to:
- Provide growers a 16-cent competitive advantage per pound of almonds delivered.
- Complete a multi-year construction plan including the addition of a 50-million-pound-capacity raw almond warehouse in Salida, Calif. The new warehouse is the second facility of similar capacity recently built at the site.
- Incorporate engineering upgrades and expand a high-efficiency production line for Almond Breeze® almondmilk at the Blue Diamond facility in Turlock, Calif. The newly enhanced line more than doubles the plant’s Almond Breeze production volume. Almond Breeze leads as the co-op’s most profitable product with more than $800 million in annual retail sales.
- Increase direct sales into India by 40 percent as trade pressures dramatically curtailed access into the Chinese market.
- More than double e-commerce sales of Blue Diamond products, while achieving the goal of Amazon becoming the co-op’s fifth largest customer.
- Be recognized, for the fourth consecutive year, as an IRI Growth Leader for fastest-growing consumer-packaged goods sales in terms of volume, revenue and market share.
- Achieve its fifth consecutive year – representing five million work hours – of no lost-time accidents at the Salida facility.
Blue Diamond Board Chairman Recognizes Leadership Milestone and Co-op Honor
In addition to the business performance highlights shared by Jansen, Dan Cummings, Blue Diamond Board Chairman and Director, District 1, announced Jansen’s tenth anniversary as President and CEO of Blue Diamond Growers. Cummings made note of Jansen’s remarkable leadership and accomplishments on behalf of the co-op. “We are confident in the future with Mark’s great leadership to guide us,” said Cummings. “Considering the successes so far, we can only imagine what the next10 years will bring. Blue Diamond is in great hands with him.”
Additionally, Cummings announced Gurcharan Dhillon as the 2020 Chairman’s Grower Ambassador of the Year. Dhillon serves as a Grower Liaison Committee Member for District 9, and he is also active on Almond Board of California committees. “We thank Gurcharan for his outstanding service and unwavering commitment to the co-op and the almond industry. He is truly an inspired leader,” said Cummings. “We also thank our many partners, including haulers, shellers, truck drivers, co-manufacturers, marketers and the 1,800 Blue Diamond employees who go above and beyond each day to help provide Blue Diamond almonds to the world.”
About Blue Diamond
Blue Diamond Growers, a grower-owned cooperative representing over 3,000 of California’s almond growers, is the world’s leading almond marketer and processor. Established in 1910, it created the California almond industry and opened world markets for almonds. Blue Diamond is dedicated to delivering the benefits of almonds around the world and does so by providing high-quality almonds, almond ingredients, and branded products. Headquartered in Sacramento, the company employs more than 1,800 people throughout its processing plants, receiving stations and gift shops. To learn more about Blue Diamond Growers, visit www.bluediamond.com and follow the company on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.