Blue Diamond is grower-owned, and their cooperative structure means growers have input into the decision-making and guidance of it. Their 2021 Annual Report covers the story of a record-sized 3.1-billion-pound crop, including the incurred challenges of harvesting, processing, and marketing a crop of this size—all during a drought. This executive summary specifically covers sustainability points highlighted in the report.
Since 1910, the Blue Diamond cooperative has provided financial returns and stability to members while growing markets and opening opportunities for future generations.
The average Blue Diamond Grower family farm is less than 100 acres.
Beginning with the 2020 crop, Blue Diamond’s Sustainability Incentive Program has provided financial incentives to member-growers who participate in ABC’s California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP).
The program educates and assesses growers on a wide array of best practices and additional water conservation opportunities. Since the cooperative introduced the grower incentive program, tens of thousands of acres have been added to the CASP program.
Blue Diamond encourages growers to take part in the Seeds for Bees® program, which urges the use of cover crops to increase the density, diversity, and duration of bee forage in California orchards, farms, and vineyards, while improving soil health.
Since 2018, more than 6,100 acres on more than 110 Blue Diamond member farms have participated in the program.
Blue Diamond’s Water for Bees program provides growers with education and sample buckets to provide clean drinking water for bee hydration while hives are in the orchards.
In 2021, Blue Diamond distributed more than 800 buckets to members for bee hydration, supporting more than 24,000 beehives.
Almonds grow on 20 percent of California’s irrigated farmland but use only 13 percent of the water California devotes to growing food—less than a proportionate share.
Over the last 20 years, California almond growers have reduced the water it takes to grow a pound of almonds by 33 percent.
Blue Diamond members use efficient, low-volume drip or micro-sprinkler irrigation systems on more than 85 percent of their orchards. This means that Blue Diamond growers are nearly twice as likely to have high-efficiency irrigation systems than California farms overall.
Dedicated sustainability teams at each of the cooperative’s facilities focus on waste diversion, energy/water efficiency, and sustainable practices within their operations.
In 2021, Blue Diamond’s Salida and Turlock facilities both achieved certification through the California Green Business Network.
acres on (110+ member farms) have participated in their Seeds for Bees® program
beehives were supported in 2021
“Major initiatives and areas of development involved delivering quality, sustainability, and social media engagement.”
The Blue Diamond Growers cooperative relies on each member’s commitment to quality in their orchards and to the strength of the collective partnership. Therefore, their sustainability progress and success come as a collaboration from the grower-owners themselves.
In 2021, Blue Diamond strengthened its sustainability efforts by continuing to offer financial incentive to join water conservation programs, along with two programs focused on saving the bees.
more likely for Blue Diamond growers to have high-efficiency irrigation systems than California farms overall
acres have been added to the CASP program through Blue Diamond
“We’re especially proud that we accomplished all [the success in 2021] while enhancing our commitment to sustainability and making a positive impact in our communities.”
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