Blue Diamond Growers, Modesto, Calif., recently announced record sales of $1 billion for fiscal year 2011-12, with a two-year growth of $300 million driven by demand for value-added almond products.

“We are winning in the marketplace by executing our superior business model, enhancing margins and growing our value-added businesses,” president and CEO Mark Jansen told the cooperative’s grower-owners at their 102nd annual meeting. “We added $13 million in savings to the $14 million we achieved last year, and we will continue to invest in new technologies that will lower costs and increase processing yields for higher levels of profitability year after year.”

Chairman of the board Clinton Shick also told growers at the meeting that they received record payments on the 2011 crop of $670 million for a return that was 18 cents per pound higher than on the 2010 crop. “Revenue per acre also exceeded the previous 2005 record by 19 percent,” he said.

Blue Diamond will open phase one of its new 88-acre Turlock, Calif., plant in May 2013 and hire up to 100 employees.

The company also anticipates that the opening of its Almond Innovation Center at its Sacramento headquarters in early 2013 will increase the speed of innovation and lower the cost of creating new products.

Source: PRNewswire, Blue Diamond Growers