Blue Diamond Growers, a nonprofit grower-owned cooperative and the world's leading processor and marketer of almonds, completed two key infrastructure expansions at its facilities in California’s Central Valley.
According to company officials, as part of Blue Diamond's long-range strategic vision, two major expansions at the co-op's facilities in the heart of California's Central Valley almond growing region, have been completed or are nearing completion this month.
The first expansion is a 52,000 square foot addition to the existing 200,000 square foot Turlock manufacturing plant that first opened in 2013 and sits on 88 acres.
In 2014, Food Engineering Magazine recognized the Turlock facility as Plant of the Year for innovation, manufacturing excellence and sustainable operations. Construction completed on the new building last week expands Blue Diamond's value-added almond processing capabilities with an automated factory that features state-of-the art handling, processing and packaging equipment. This expansion also provides space for a future manufacturing line to support current business or new innovations.
The second expansion is the new Bulk 8 Warehouse at the Salida facility that originally opened as an almond receiving station in 1969. Today the 675,000 square foot facility sits on 44 acres and includes a retail Nut & Gift Shop.
The new 58,000 square foot bulk storage facility is on schedule to be completed by the end of May providing an additional 50 million pounds of in-house bulk almond storage capacity in time to receive the 2020 almond harvest. The 65-foot-tall building includes advanced design with an automated gravity fed spiral conveyance system that improves grower delivery efficiency and reduces damage to the almonds.
"It is particularly meaningful for Blue Diamond to be able to commemorate our Founders Day today by not only recognizing our humble beginnings 110 years ago, but also celebrating two key growth milestones that help secure our future," said Mark Jansen, President and CEO for Blue Diamond Growers. "I couldn't be more proud that, despite the unprecedented challenges businesses around the world have faced over the past two months, our incredible team has been able to sustain operations as an essential food supplier, while completing these critical expansion projects ahead of schedule to meet customer needs."
"When we opened each of Blue Diamond's three main facilities, we made a commitment to invest in our infrastructure, in our workforce, and in the individual communities where our employees and almond growers live and work. Throughout the year, we support local nonprofits through our community grants, sponsorships, employee volunteerism and product donations. During yesterday's global Giving Tuesday Now effort, I'm thrilled to report that Blue Diamond, along with partners Union Pacific and Sun-Maid Growers of California, committed to a donation match of $50,000 to help support three food banks in northern and central California that are struggling to meet significant demand from local families in need."