After their Salida facility became the first business in Stanislaus County to earn the recognition in April, the Blue Diamond Growers plant in Turlock followed suit this month when it became Green Business Certified.
The plant was honored with the distinction following a comprehensive certification process through the Modesto Chamber of Commerce’s California Green Business Network, Stanislaus County program, and the achievement 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.
The Green Business Certified recognition was awarded during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Turlock facility on Thursday, which was attended by Blue Diamond leadership as well as Congressman Josh Harder, Turlock Mayor Amy Bublak and several other state and local dignitaries.
“Blue Diamond Growers has a long-standing commitment to implementing sustainable practices across all of our facilities and in our almond orchards, too,” said Mark Jansen, president and CEO of Blue Diamond Growers. “This recognition further demonstrates that we are committed to doing our part to build a healthier and more sustainable future for our local communities through adopting new technologies and practices that improve our sustainability efforts. We are proud to have not one, but two facilities to have earned this honor and important recognition.”
The 250,000-square-foot plant located at 1300 N. Washington Rd. in Turlock is celebrating its eighth anniversary this month and is currently under the direction of Site Leader Zach Lewis. In 2014, the facility was named “Plant of the Year” by Food Engineering Magazine. The state-of-the-art Turlock plant specializes in processing almonds (blanching, roasting, slicing, dicing, slivering, etc.) to be used by major global food customers in cereals, snack bars, yogurt toppings, baked goods and candies. The Turlock location also prepares the beverage base for Blue Diamond Growers’ Almond Breeze Almondmilk and produces Blue Diamond Growers’ Almond Flour and other value-added almond products.
The Turlock facility recently completed phase two of its three-phase, 15-year project that began when Blue Diamond purchased 88 acres at the intersection of North Washington and Fulkerth Road in late 2011.
In addition to the sustainability efforts at the Blue Diamond Growers’ manufacturing facilities, the co-op emphasizes sustainable field practices, including irrigation management, pest management, and bee health. Blue Diamond Growers actively participates in the California Almond Sustainability Program, led by the Almond Board of California, to collect grower-submitted production practice information. CASP helps growers find ways to improve the efficiency of their farming operations.
To further underscore its ongoing commitment to improved sustainability, Blue Diamond Growers recently hired Dr. Daniel Sonke, who spoke at Thursday’s event, as the new Director of Sustainability. In this role, Dr. Sonke is leading global sustainability efforts across all segments of the Blue Diamond Growers’ business. He will be responsible for integrating company performance with Blue Diamond Growers’ sustainability pillars of economic viability, environmental stewardship, and community well-being.