SALIDA – Blue Diamond Almond Growers broke ground Wednesday on a new manufacturing plant in Salida.
“We’ll need this warehouse to accommodate an additional 50 million pounds and be prepared to process and export to over a hundred countries in the world,” Blue Diamond Chairman Dan Cummings said.
The new warehouse could not come soon enough for Cummings, who says 80% of the almonds consumed worldwide is grown in California.
“It’s huge. It’s part of the infrastructure that we’re going to need going forward as our almond crops continue to grow,” Cummings said.
However, CEO Mark Jansen says the almond industry faces some uncertainty considering President Donald Trump’s trade war and retaliatory tariffs.
“We saw a 20-percent reduction in prices a year ago when this trade issues began to happen,” Jansen said.
“China had been growing at a pretty good 6 to 8% a year. This year it’s down 30%,” Cummings said.
That was just one challenge.
India, one of the world’s largest consumers of the seed, just announced higher tariffs, which means more obstacles in selling the crop overseas.
The growers say they hope to see more cooperation that will help the Central Valley food to dining tables worldwide.
“We would love to see agreements come into play with countries like China and Turkey and India, which are significant markets for Blue Diamond,” Jansen said.
Blue Diamond says when the new facility opens next summer, it will be able to receive 6 million pounds of almonds daily.