Blue Diamond Growers is pleased to announce Dr. Daniel Sonke as its new director of sustainability. In this role, Dr. Sonke will lead global sustainability efforts across all segments of the Blue Diamond Growers business. He will be responsible for integrating company performance with the 111-year-old almond cooperative's sustainability pillars of economic viability, environmental stewardship, and community well-being.
With deep roots in the California almond industry, Dr. Sonke grew up on his family's almond farm near Ripon. He holds a Doctorate of Plant Medicine, from the University of Florida. Dr. Sonke most recently led corporate sustainable agriculture programs for Campbell Soup Company as Director of Sustainable Agriculture. Additionally, throughout his career, he has led numerous efforts to advance science-based sustainability efforts and certification programs for multiple agricultural commodities, including almonds, hazelnuts, pears, mushrooms, peaches, plums, nectarines, citrus, potatoes, wine grapes, and tomatoes. Dr. Sonke currently serves as a member of the Almond Board of California's Sustainability Working Group.
"We are thrilled to have someone of Dr. Sonke's caliber join the Blue Diamond Growers team to lead the cooperative's sustainability efforts," said Brian Barczak, senior vice president, global supply for Blue Diamond Growers. "With his world-class expertise, deep scientific background, and hands-on experience with a variety of industries, he will be pivotal in further advancing our critical sustainability mission."
Blue Diamond Growers has a long-time commitment to sustainability and was recently recognized as Green Business Certified by the Modesto Chamber of Commerce's California Green Business Network, Stanislaus County Program. The Green Business Certified recognition goes to companies that achieve a verified set of standards, including reducing water use, conserving energy, preventing pollution, increasing recycling, avoiding waste, encouraging alternative transportation, and partnering with other local vendors.
"Our latest sustainability recognition as Green Business Certified is an important milestone along Blue Diamond Growers sustainability journey," said Barczak. "It is a path of continual progress that will no doubt be enhanced with Dr. Sonke's leadership and skill."