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Blue ribbon day for Turlock almond plant

Blue ribbon day for Turlock almond plant

Executives of Blue Diamond cut the celebratory blue ribbon for the grand opening of the new 200,000 square foot site on Washington Road.

POSTED June 18, 2013 10:56 p.m.

With Turlock Mayor John Lazar saying it would “make Turlock a game changer in the Valley,” the Blue Diamond Almond plant celebrated their grand opening Tuesday amid fanfare from local growers and dignitaries alike.

"We're very excited to be here," said Ulli Thiersch, director of Projects and Construction at Blue Diamond.  "The city has been very positive and has welcomed us with open arms."

Blue Diamond is currently focused on the first phase of a multi-year plan at the 200,000 square foot site. An estimated 40 people have been hired already to prepare almonds for commercial use. As the plant expands to phases two and three, Blue Diamond expects to begin producing its own retail products at the Washington Road site, which will bring more jobs to the area.

As operations expand, the first phase of the plant is expected to yield over 300 jobs, including 100 direct jobs, an estimated 123 additional indirect local supplier jobs and 79 jobs from increased consumer spending in the community, according to Randall Svedbeck, research manager for the Stanislaus Economic Development and Workforce Alliance.

"Turlock does not have a massive industrial site," said Thiersch. "So this is a pretty big deal for the community."

Groundbreaking for the 88-acreTurlock site took place last year, and Thiersch credits the speedy construction to the work done by the city.

"They took care of the environmental review which at many times can take a year in itself," said Thiersch.

President and CEO of Blue Diamond, Mark Jansesn stated that the new state of the art facility will not just provide an avenue for current profits, but also future investments.

"While increasing our capacity and enhancing our capabilities, we are also able to produce efficiencies that allow us to confidently invest, knowing there is a significant payback to growers for their investment."

Last year, Blue Diamond Global ingredients generated an estimated $1 billion in revenue, signifying a 69 percent increase in sales.

"Our expanded manufacturing capacity couldn’t come at more critical time," said Jansen. "Record demand drives us to process at a faster pace to support our global customers and their growth."

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