Doors to Blue Diamond’s Turlock, Calif., plant opened today 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 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-s.f. plant represents nearly half of a three-phased capacity enhancement project scheduled to be completed over the next 10 years. The first phase will yield over 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 first phase of expansion will meet growing global demand for value-added almond ingredients from the great food companies of the world. Cereals, snack bars, yogurt toppings, baked goods and candies are amongst the many destinations for products from this plant.
“Our brand has led the world tree nut industry in new product innovations,” says Jansen. “At the same time, value-added revenues for Blue Diamond’s Global Ingredients business exploded by 69 percent between 2009-2011 and almonds continue to rank No. 1 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.”
The Turlock plant is located on an 88-acre parcel of land at North Washington and Fulkerth roads.