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The doors to Blue Diamond’s Turlock plant opened June 18, as California dignitaries and guests became the first to tour a facility deemed to be the largest single almond investment since 1910, when the cooperative organized the industry and created the most recognized almond brand.
According to Mark Jansen, Blue Diamond president and CEO, “The new Turlock plant supports the significant growth in our global almond ingredients business with a facility that sets new standards for food safety. 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.”
Designed to meet the world’s highest food quality standards, the 200,000-sq.-ft. plant represents almost half of a three-phased capacity enhancement project scheduled to be completed over the next 10 years. The first phase will yield more than 300 jobs, including 100 direct jobs, an estimated 123 additional indirect local supplier-based jobs and 79 jobs induced from increased consumer spending in the community, according to Randall Svedbeck, research manager for the Stanislaus Economic Development and Workforce Alliance.
The phase 1 expansion will meet growing global demand for value-added almond ingredients from food companies around the world.
“Our brand has led the world tree nut industry in new product innovations.” explains Jansen. “At the same time, value-added revenues for Blue Diamond’s Global Ingredients business exploded by 69% between 2009-2011, and almonds continue to rank number one as the leading nut in new food products worldwide. Our expanded manufacturing capacity couldn’t come at a more critical time as record demand drives us to process at a faster pace to support our global customers in their growth!”