Blue Diamond Almond Facts January-February 2023

This issue of Almond Facts welcomes Blue Diamond's new president and CEO, Kai Bockmann, highlights Blue Diamond's award-winning Rose Parade float, and celebrates the come-back of fan-favorite Chilé 'N Lime flavored almonds!



Back by Popular Demand: 6 oz. Chilé ‘n Lime!

Welcoming Our New President & CEO, Kai Bockmann

Blue Diamond ’s Award-Winning Rose Parade Float

Blue Diamond Growers does not endorse or verify statements made by advertisers within this publication.

JAN–FEB 2023



Blue Diamond Growers welcomes new President and CEO, Kai Bockmann


6 President’s Corner Mark looks back on his amazing 12-year tenure with Blue Diamond . He says Blue Diamond will always have a special status because of its unique purpose as a co-op and because so many of our 3,000 farm family owners have become friends. 14 2023 Rose Parade For the fifth year in a row, Blue Diamond ’s float dazzled the streets of Pasadena and honored the people and pollinators that make Blue Diamond almond products possible. The float even won the Fantasy Award trophy!

24 Returning for a Limited Time: 6 oz. Chilé ‘n Lime! Blue Diamond is proud to announce that we heard your requests to bring back Chilé ‘n Lime! For a limited time, the 6-ounce cans of this zesty favorite can be found at your local retailer and Blue Diamond Nut & Gift Shops. 32 Web Map App Used to Fight NOW Blue Diamond worked together with The Almond Board of California, Land IQ and UC Cooperative Extension ABC to develop an online web mapping application that allows Pest Control Advisors and growers to identify their orchards and indicate whether or not they already implement Mating Disruption or have an interest in a neighborhood management program.

ON THE COVER: Blue Diamond’s Rose Parade float featured four grower families!



BOARD OF DIRECTORS Dan Cummings, Chairman of the Board | Chico Stephen Van Duyn, Vice Chairman | Modesto Dale Van Groningen | Ripon John Monroe | Arbuckle George A. te Velde | Escalon Nick Blom | Modesto Dan Mendenhall | Winton

Matthew Efird | Fresno Kent Stenderup | Arvin Joe Huston | Monterey Kristin Daley | San Francisco

OFFICERS Mark Jansen, CEO Emeritus Kai Bockmann, President and CEO Dean LaVallee, Chief Financial Officer/ Chief Operating Officer

ALMOND FACTS STAFF Blue Diamond Growers Communications Department, Jillian Luna, Managing Editor Mel Machado, Contributing Photographer Gray Allen, Advertising Sales 916.783.4334 & 916.765.3234

Blue Diamond , the world’s largest processor and marketer of almonds, exports to over 100 countries.

Almond Facts , established in 1922, is published bimonthly by Blue Diamond Growers , 1802 C Street, Sacramento, California 95811. Address all correspondence to the Editor, Almond Facts , P.O. Box 1768, Sacramento, California 95812. Advertising subscription rates provided upon request. Blue Diamond is a registered trademark and marketing brand of Blue Diamond Growers . Other registered trademarks are The Almond People, Smokehouse, Golden State, Celebration, From the Valleys of California, Confetti and Almond Facts . Blue Diamond Growers does not endorse or verify statements made by advertisers within this publication. Blue Diamond reserves the right to refuse advertising. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

© Blue Diamond Growers 2023

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Blue Diamond Growers does not endorse or verify statements made by advertisers within this publication.


A New Chapter in Our Co-Op Legacy Friends have been asking me, “How long will it take to get almonds off your mind ? ” My answer is, “It will never happen.” I love to go grocery shopping and reconnect with the businesses I once led. I open the freezer door to straighten the Haagen-Dazs pints, move down the aisle to check out the new varieties of Pillsbury Toaster Strudel and evaluate the latest merchandising strategy on Freschetta pizzas.

Those of you with grown children who have left home will understand that while you are no longer responsible for them, you still feel tremendous interest, pride and affection for their lives. I have a similar attachment with every business I have had the honor of leading. Blue Diamond will always have a special status because of its unique purpose as a co-op and because so many of our 3,000 farm family owners have become my friends. As we sell our almonds to 90 countries and have now developed licensee partnerships that take our Almond Breeze ® brand to over 60 countries, I am blessed to have relationships around the world. As team members and grower-owners, we share tremendous pride for what we have accomplished together. The months since my announcement have been gratifying as I have been able to share mutual affection with so many of you.

Leading Blue Diamond has been more than a great honor. It was a calling for me. I take great satisfaction in the co-op business transformation in people, performance and profitability. This is a great time for transition and Kai Bockmann took over CEO responsibility on January 16. While I am still passionately working to ensure a graceful transition, my tenure will be ending in April. I look forward to continuing friendships and beaming with pride this spring as I watch our new advertising campaigns, this fall discovering the next generation of new products on the shelf, and this winter giving a thumbs up to the holiday almond displays. Thank you for letting me serve as your CEO. And I remain confident that for Blue Diamond , “The Best is Yet to Come!”

Mark Jansen CEO Emeritus

Mark Jansen CEO Emeritus






Regional Managers

Vice President, Member Relations Mel Machado (209) 545-6222 – Salida (209) 531-6352 – Cellular Director, Member Relations (North) Ben Goudie (209) 225-0413 Director, Member Relations (South)

Glenn, Butte, Tehama, Placer, Yuba & Sutter Christine Ivory, (530) 518-9109

Colusa, Yolo & Solano John Aja, (530) 338-6440 Sacramento, Calaveras, Alameda & San Joaquin West of Austin Rd Ben Goudie, (209) 225-0413 Stanislaus County North of Tuolumne River & West of San Joaquin River Justin Elam, (209) 303-7306 San Joaquin East of Austin Rd; Stanislaus South of Tuolumne, East of San Joaquin River & West of Hwy 99; Merced North of the Merced River, West of Hwy 99 KC Stone, (209) 596-5375 Stanislaus South of Tuolumne River, East of 99 & Merced North of Merced River, East of 99 Brian Noeller, (209) 417-2010 Merced County, West of 99 & South of Merced River, East of 99, North of Hwy 140 Trent Voss, (209) 470-5981 Merced County, South of Hwy 140 & Madera County Kenny Miyamoto, (209) 323-8454 Fresno County West of Hwy 99 & North of Hwy 180 Ashley Correia, (559) 356-1584 Tulare County East of Hwy 99 & Fresno County East of Hwy 99, South of Hwy 180 Christopher Miller, (559) 310-5085 Kern, Kings, and Tulare County west of Hwy 99 Anthony Scudder, (559) 470-9731 Membership Office Jennifer Claussen – Membership Coordinator (209) 545-6225 Daniel Dekeyrel – Membership Assistant ( Delivery Tags ) (209) 545-6261 Grower Accounting Joe Lavagnino – Grower Accounting Manager (916) 446-8591 Kristie Ezell – Grower Accounting Coordinator (916) 446-8368 Erika Martin – Grower Accounting Assistant (916) 446-8385

Christopher Miller (559) 310-5085




2023 Grower Liaisons Committee Members




P. Samantha Lewis Chris Alves Luke Konyn Robert Thill Brian Erickson Stacy Gore Jerry Montz Steve Carlos Fred Montgomery Daniel Varner Greg Overton Darcy Jones Dan Cummings W. Howard Isom

Cathy Marsh Sid La Grande

Chairman Vice-Chairman Ex-Officio Director Appointed (Member-at-Large)

Joe Martinez Sarah Pippitt Maryann Warmerdam Don Bransford

Almond Board Alternate Almond Board Director Almond Board Chair

Ryan Finnen Brian Cahill Jake Driver Ron Tadlock Jake Spooner Amy Abele John Monroe

Elaine Rominger Gerald Rominger



Nick Alta Chris Rishwain Jack Dalton Don Van Vliet Rick Phillips Louie Tallerico

John Almeida Phil Mohler Jake Sonke Bryan Van Groningen Kevin Van Laar

Rick Morris Paul Adrian Wayne Bruns Tim Roos Mike Ballatore Dawn Price Ian Koetsier George te Velde

Mike Bogetti Allen Sipma Bert Van Ryn Rudy Mussi Zack Reinstein Dale Van Groningen John Thoming

For Grower Liaison contact information, please contact your regional manager.

Kevin Fondse Kenneth Roos






Eric Heinrich Naomi A. Layland Alex Vanderstoel Ryan Valk John De Visser Manuel Furtado Lucas Van Duyn Grant Ardis Brandon Riddle Mark Giannini Dennis Bowers Stephen Van Duyn Neil Van Duyn

Christine Gemperle Don Clark

David Tolmosoff Robert Allen Jens Finderup RJ Maan Ryan Indart Lee Erickson Norman Pretzer

Mark Fanucchi Doug Kindig Ray Van Beek Mark Palla Gurcharan Dhillon Kyle Balakian Keith Gilbert Karamjit Jhandi Mark Tos Benjamin Wilson Paramjit Dosanjh

Frank Fagundes Jeffrey Baize Tim Lohman Rick Scoto Galen Miyamoto

Jared Serpa Hal Carlton Frank Borba Trent Voss Michael Mora Paul Danbom Eric Genzoli Rod Vilas

Joe Sansoni Jimmi Atwal

Steve Bains Mike Yager Neil Amaral Mason McKinney Blake Little Matt Efird George Goshgarian Aldo Sansoni

Louis Bandoni David P. Souza James Ohki Jason Chandler Dan Smith Dan Mendenhall

Rick Alvernaz Gary Marchy Nick Blom Charles Crivelli III Steve Vilas Bill Brush

Lisa Marroquin Kent Stenderup Clinton Shick




Blue Diamond Growers Board of Directors selects Kai Bockmann as next Chief Executive Officer

Bockmann brings 25 plus years of global experience growing renowned brands and consumer packaged goods companies to the cooperative Kai Bockmann joined the agricultural cooperative and global consumer packaged goods (CPG) leader as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on January 16, 2023. Bockmann succeeds Mark Jansen who announced his plans to step down after a very successful 12-year tenure as CEO. “The search process went well, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome,” said Cummings. “Kai has more than a quarter of a century of global experience growing CPG companies, and we believe he is the leader we need to keep building our business and brand domestically and internationally, while continuing to deliver superior returns to our grower-owners.”

Kai and George te Velde and group

Bockmann most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Saputo Inc. — one of the world’s largest dairy companies — where he led operations that included 67 plants and 18,000 employees across the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, and the United Kingdom. From 2017 to 2021, he and his team grew revenue from $11 billion to $14 billion. From 2012 to 2021, the international business he led grew from less than $500 million to more than $4 billion. Prior to Saputo Inc., Bockmann was at McCain Foods — the world’s largest producer of frozen potatoes — where he served as President of the International Division and accelerated international sales across 60 export markets, doubling revenues over four years.

Kai and George te Velde’s dog Pepper

I look forward to learning from growers and team members and keeping our immediate focus on maintaining business continuity and growth momentum. -Kai Bockmann, President and CEO, Blue Diamond Growers



Kai with Ben Goudie, Dale Van Groningen & group

Kai and Galen Miyamoto

Kai and Dan Mendenhall

Kai and Kent Stenderup











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“I’m excited by this phenomenal opportunity to join one of the most consistent and fastest-growing food and beverage companies in the world,” said Bockmann. “I look forward to learning from growers and team members and keeping our immediate focus on maintaining business continuity and growth momentum.” Cummings said the Board, Bockmann, Jansen, and the entire experienced executive team at Blue Diamond will work closely together to ensure a smooth transition in leadership over the next few months. “We’re grateful for Mark’s support during the search and his commitment to helping set Kai and the cooperative up for continued success,” said Cummings. “We’re building from 112 years of success, and we know the future is bright for Blue Diamond because no one knows how to get almonds from growers’ farms to families worldwide better than us.” Bockmann hit the ground running right from his start at Blue Diamond . His first week included travel up and down the Central Valley where he met with growers and district directors, he attended Blue Diamond leadership meetings and toured the Sacramento, Salida, and Turlock sites.

Kai observing almonds with grower and past Blue Diamond Board Chairman, Clinton Schick



Promoting Blue Diamond on National Gluten-Free Day January 13 was National Gluten-Free Day and Blue Diamond ’s chef ambassador, Patty Mastracco, had some fun demonstrating gluten-free recipes made with Blue Diamond Almond Flour and Blue Diamond Nut-Thins with the anchors of Sacramento’s Fox40 TV station. An estimated audience of 18,300 in the greater Sacramento media market tuned in, learning how to incorporate Blue Diamond products into their healthy eating goals.




Blue Diamond Growers Celebrates Almonds and Bees in Fifth Annual Rose Parade® Float Blue Diamond Growers Honors Almond Farmers, Pollinators, and Sustainability Efforts with Colorful Rose Parade Float on January 2, 2023 Blue Diamond participated in the 2023 Rose Parade ® , the iconic annual event held in Pasadena, CA on January 2, 2023. For the fifth year in a row, our co-op’s float dazzled the streets of Pasadena and honored the people and pollinators that make Blue Diamond almond products possible. Blue Diamond highlighted our commitment to sustainability, pollinators, and biodiversity with the custom-built float brimming with fresh flowers and featuring Blue Diamond almond growers. Meticulously built to honor the almond pioneer’s past, present, and future, Blue Diamond charmed Rose Parade ® spectators with a colorful float that paid tribute to not only the almonds that sustain its growers and nourish its consumers but also to the pollinators that are vital for their success. “We’re thrilled to be back for the Rose Parade! This year’s float is an unparalleled representation of the passion and hard work of our grower-members,” said Raj Joshi, SVP Global Consumer Division for Blue Diamond Growers . “We are incredibly honored to share this moment with the almond grower-owners riding our float, bringing the whole display to life, and our thousands of members who will be watching from home. Blue Diamond ’s California legacy keeps growing thanks to them.” Spectators were charmed with the enormous representations of the brand’s Almond Breeze ® Almondmilk and the signature Smokehouse-flavored Blue Diamond Almonds, a






rollercoaster and an animated, spinning Ferris wheel. As the float made its way down the streets of Pasadena, Blue Diamond was intentional in ensuring that one element stood out: the honeybees. By creating joyful bees from thousands of flowers, we reinforced our commitment to partnerships that support honeybee health, such as Project Apis m . and Pollinator Partnership, and our leadership in using pollinator-friendly plantings in growers’ orchards to advance biodiversity and climate-smart agriculture. We are proud to announce that the float was so wonderfully crafted that it won the “Fantasy Award” for outstanding display of fantasy and imagination! Even celebrities marveled at the beauty of the float. Boxer and actor, Danny Trejo hopped onto the float for a ride with the growers as he threw flowers out to spectators.

This year’s eye-catching design consisted of more than 20,000 flowers, including over 10,000 pink and orange roses, hundreds of gladiolas, lilies, and orchids as well as a variety of seeds, beans, and almond shells. The float also featured a unique component: the heart and soul of Blue Diamond , our growers. Twelve almond growers rode alongside the float, representing the more than 3,000 dedicated growers in the California co-op — making it one of the world’s leading agricultural co-ops. Lovingly known as America’s New Year Celebration ® , the iconic Rose Parade ® celebrated its 134th anniversary. With this year’s theme, “Turning the Corner,” Blue Diamond also took an opportunity to celebrate what the new year means to our co-op: the long-awaited almond bloom that happens every February in central California, signaling a

Boxer and actor, Danny Trejo joined Blue Diamond grower-owners for a ride on the float! He even threw flowers out to onlookers!



new year for the almond cycle, and a renewed opportunity to keep growing a better tomorrow through innovative sustainable farming practices. Nothing denotes turning the corner more for Blue Diamond than fragrant almond blossoms, well-cared-for crops, and healthy bees pollinating the trees that make almonds possible. Visit to learn how Blue Diamond is committed to biodiversity and pollinator health. The Blue Diamond Growers float was featured in the Rose Parade on January 2, 2023, beginning at 8:00 a.m. PST in Pasadena, California, and was broadcast on live television.

About the Pasadena Tournament of Roses ® and The Rose Parade ® presented by Honda The Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that hosts America’s New Year Celebration ® with the Rose Parade ® presented by Honda, the Rose Bowl Game ® and a variety of accompanying events. The Association’s 935 volunteer members supply more than 80,000 hours of manpower, which drove the success of the 134th Rose Parade, themed “Turning The Corner” on Monday, January 2, 2023, followed by the 109th Rose Bowl Game. Visit




#WeAreBlueDiamond Social Media Activity This month, for the fifth time, Blue Diamond participated in the Rose Parade in Pasadena where our parade float won the “Fantasy Award.” We welcomed our new president/CEO, Kai Bockmann to the team. We celebrated the incredible work of Martin Luther King Jr. this MLK Day. Finally, we enjoyed a special observance of Gluten-Free Day where those on a gluten-free diet can fully appreciate almond products,



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Blue Diamond Growers does not endorse or verify statements made by advertisers within this publication.


BLUE DIAMOND INVESTMENT PROGRAMS Current Investment Rates available as of January 1, 2023

Blue Diamond Growers offers members short-term and long- term investment programs. The objective of these programs is to serve as a competitive investment alternative for our members and provide Blue Diamond Growers with a steady source of funds. The interest rates effective January 1, 2023, for the program are listed here:

Long-Term Investment Certificate (LTIC) (Maturity Date of 6/30/2025)

Short-Term Investment Certificate (STIC)

Initial Investment Required



Interest Rate



(Variable, subject to change)

(Fixed rate)

For more information, contact your local Regional Manager, or Member Services at (209) 545-6225.

This summary does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to purchase investment certificates. We will provide a package of documents for the programs to those members who are California residents and who express an interest in participating in the program.




Individual Chickpea Pot Pies Cooking Time: 40 minutes Difficulty: Medium Servings: 6

Ingredients • ½ cup chopped onion • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 2 garlic cloves, minced • ¼ cup all-purpose flour • ½ teaspoon salt • ¼ teaspoon pepper • 2 cups vegetable broth • 1 cup Almond Breeze ® Original Almondmilk or Almond Breeze ® Unsweetened Original Almondmilk • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained • 2 cups frozen cubed hash brown potatoes • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning • 1 sheet refrigerated pie dough

Directions 1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. H eat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until blended. Gradually whisk in broth. 3. S tir in Almond Breeze ® almondmilk. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. 4. Stir in the vegetables, chickpeas, potatoes, and Italian seasoning. Divide mixture among six ungreased 10-ounce ramekins. 5. Unroll pastry; divide into six portions. Roll out each portion enough to cover ramekins; place pastry over filling and press gently to seal around edges. Cut slits in pastry. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. 6. Bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes or until pastry is light brown.



Cinnamon Roll Hot Coffee Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy Servings: 4

Ingredients • 1 cup – 1 cup coffee grounds • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1 cup Almond Breeze ® Almondmilk Sweet Crème Creamer • 1 cup whipping cream

Directions 1. In the basket of a coffee maker, add desired grounds, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Brew 10 cups of coffee. 2. O nce coffee is brewed, divide coffee into four mugs, add Almond Breeze ® Almondmilk Sweet Crème Creamer, then add 1 tablespoon and a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon, if desired. 3. Serve.



Blue Diamond Growers Foundation Scholarship available for 2023 − 2024 School Year

Scholarship Requirements: • Must currently live in Almond Growing Regions of California • Must intend to pursue college major in Agriculture related field, with specific emphasis on plant and crop-related majors • Must have 3.3 GPA or higher • Enrollment verification to a college or university offering a four-year degree will be required for disbursement of award funds • Application deadline: March 31, 2023

This is a one-time award. Applicants who have applied and not previously been awarded a Blue Diamond Growers Foundation Scholarship may re-apply. Scholarship is available to applicants entering any year of a four-year degree program.

Blue Diamond Growers does not endorse or verify statements made by advertisers within this publication.




Announcing the Return of Chilé ‘N Lime Flavored Almonds Popular Flavor Back for a Limited Time Only Just in time to spice up the new year, Blue Diamond announced the return of its popular Chilé ‘N Lime Flavored Almonds. The taste-tempting, zesty flavor is available at Blue Diamond Nut & Gift Shops in Sacramento, Modesto and Chico, and at select national retailers for a limited time only. “ Blue Diamond is thrilled to bring back this beloved favorite for our customers,” said Maya Erwin, Vice President of Innovation and R&D, Blue Diamond Growers . “Ensuring that almond lovers can enjoy their favorite flavors is why we keep developing new and exciting products, as well as re-introducing flavors that our customers crave. Due to popular demand, Chilé ‘N Lime is one of those delicious flavors that we just had to bring back — but they won’t be around for long.”

The Chilé ‘N Lime Flavored Almonds include a hint of lime with a tangy and savory spice blend that satisfies even the most adventurous of palates. In addition to the incredible taste, Blue Diamond almonds pack more than six grams of plant protein per serving and are an excellent source of the antioxidant, vitamin E, and a good source of magnesium. The Chilé ‘N Lime almonds are a superfood with super flavor. These healthy, delicious, California-grown snacks are also gluten-free and kosher certified. With more than 50 percent market share of the U.S. snack almond business, Blue Diamond is a world-class leader in consumer trend analysis and flavor forecasting leading to exciting flavors like Chilé ‘N Lime and many other incredible flavors within the Blue Diamond Growers snack almond line up. Check out all of the Blue Diamond snack almond flavors on the website at www .bluediamond .com.

Blue Diamond Launches New Creative Ad Campaigns Across Portfolio of Brands Introducing three original marketing campaigns for Snack Almonds, Almond Breeze , and Almond Flour brands

Blue Diamond announced the launch of three new 360-degree creative marketing campaigns across the company’s portfolio of brands and products, including Snack Almonds, Almond Breeze ® , and Almond Flour. According to Global Market Reports, the plant-based food market continues to flourish and will gain $34 billion by 2030, and so will the demand for delicious and innovative products using plant-based ingredients.

In 2022, Blue Diamond began revitalizing its marketing in partnership with creative agency McKinney. The launch of these campaigns is part of an increased Blue Diamond investment to showcase the array of almond-based products in new, creative ways. The campaigns will reach consumers across the media and shopping marketplace to demonstrate the benefits of Blue Diamond Almonds to the world. Mark Jansen, CEO Emeritus, expressed his excitement at the launch: “I am incredibly proud of the work and creativity that



Almondmilk It ™ Blue Diamond Almond Breeze ® is the leading almondmilk in the U.S., made from the finest-quality Blue Diamond Almonds harvested in California. As versatile as it is delicious, the new Almond Breeze ® “Almondmilk It ™ “ campaign encourages those who've never tried Almond Breeze ® to enjoy a glass of delicious almondmilk goodness along with those who reach out for it time and time again. The “Almondmilk It ™ “ :30 second and :15 second spots will run as a television ad throughout the year, supported by a variety of video units on social media and online video. This compelling campaign activates deep-rooted consumer insights across an integrated support plan highlighting how great tasting Blue Diamond Almond Breeze ® almondmilk can be enjoyed across a variety of everyday occasions. Blue Diamond Almond Flour Blue Diamond Almond Flour will be the center of Blue Diamond ’s third new campaign this year. Finely sifted and made with California-grown Blue Diamond almonds, Blue Diamond Almond Flour is gluten-free and can be used in any sweet or savory recipe. Rolling out in early spring, Blue Diamond will unveil a bold campaign showcasing how it is tasty, delicious, and easy to use. The new campaign will be featured at retail displays, as well as digitally and on social media and through a partnership with Celebrity Chef, Amanda Freitag. The new “Gimme Blue Diamond ™ ” and Almond Breeze ® ’s “Almondmilk It ™ ” campaigns—the highest tested television ads in Blue Diamond history—went live on January 30, 2023, airing in Broadcast Early Morning and Prime, Syndication Cable, and with select OTT Partners. The Blue Diamond Almond Flour campaign is set to roll out in March, marking the first-ever creative campaign for that line at Blue Diamond .

went into these new campaigns. The innovation of our teams is limitless, and I am glad to continue spreading awareness to our customers and consumers that Blue Diamond creates the best almonds and almond products available.” At the helm of Blue Diamond ’s creative momentum is the recently appointed Vice President, Global Head of Marketing, Jason Merideth. He joins Blue Diamond from Nestlé, where he led a number of businesses, including serving as General Manager of Nestlé’s creamer portfolio. “I have long respected Blue Diamond ’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to evolving with their consumers to meet shifting priorities and needs,” said Merideth. “I’m incredibly excited to bring this breakthrough campaign to market in partnership with such a smart, passionate team. It’s a key part of our journey to bring the power of almond and plant-based products to life for our consumers and deliver sustained growth for the Blue Diamond co-op grower-owners.” Gimme Blue Diamond ™ Blue Diamond offers almonds in various flavors, from sweet to savory, all with a satisfying taste and crunch. Entitled “Gimme Blue Diamond ™ ,” the Snack Almonds campaign highlights what a perfect snack the brand’s almonds are for any snacking occasion. Available in a range of sizes from individual serving sizes to large, family-size value bags, Blue Diamond Almonds can be enjoyed at home, work, or on the go as a delicious, always satisfying snack. The new “Gimme Blue Diamond ™ ” campaign debuted with a :15 second television spot, live across online video and social media channels, as well as in-market wherever Blue Diamond almonds are sold. The ad features a catchy jingle enticing viewers to enjoy the “crunchy, tasty, sweet or savory, always satisfying” product attributes of Blue Diamond snack almonds, while the wider campaign reinforces the uniqueness of Blue Diamond Almonds and celebrates the call to action to Gimme B l ue Diamond ™ .




2023 Blue Diamond Leadership Program Kickoff! The Blue Diamond Growers Leadership Program kick off was a great success! 28 students were welcomed to Sacramento on January 12‒13 to learn more about Blue Diamond and what it means to be a cooperative. The group heard from Emily Rooney and Tricia Geringer from Ag Council, Matt Roman from Niemela Pappas and Associates, Assemblymember Heath Flora, Assemblymember Dr. Bains, and Undersecretary Christine Birdsong of the California Department of Food & Agriculture. The class enjoyed a special meet and greet with the Blue Diamond CEO Emeritus, Mark Jansen, along with the board of directors. The students participated in tours of the Almond Innovation Center and Sacramento plant, which included a deep dive into various parts of the business. They also learned about production economics, California water, and corporate sustainability. The group will meet again in June to continue their education of Blue Diamond and the almond industry.



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Current Washington Situation

In January, Republicans took control of the House. A California Congressman, Kevin McCarthy, is the Speaker. This will benefit California in many ways such as agriculture, water, and trade.

The new Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee is GT Thomson. He will lead the process of obtaining the new Farm Bill this year. The former Committee Chairman will be the ranking Democrat on the Committee for the Farm Bill legislative process. With one exception, since 1990, no Farm Bill has been passed except in an election year. This means the new Farm Bill may be passed in 2024. The biggest change resulting from the switch in party control is likely to be to climate policy and programs. The new chairman of the House Agriculture Committee is skeptical of many of the climate proposals that USDA has

been developing. This includes the carbon bank payment to growers. The $1.7 trillion Omnibus funding bill passed last month contained several climate provisions which will remove them from the Farm Bill. It is doubtful a new Farm Bill will be passed this year. Democrats remain in control of the Senate. They will have greater control now due to their increase in numbers to 51. This number is achieved due to the independents caucusing with the Democrats. This means the Democrats will have a majority on every committee and will be able to do as they please in each Senate committee. This is a



big improvement for them. It means the Senate Agriculture Committee can adopt a new Farm Bill that they desire. The House and Senate will then have to go to conference to resolve the differences. In Washington, the focus is now on the 2024 Presidential election. This will occupy both parties’ political decisions during the next two years. The President has not formally announced that he will run for reelection, but it is expected that he will. He must indicate that he will run or will become a “Lame Duck.” His wife has said she would like a second term as First Lady. There are as many as 10 Republicans positioning themselves to run for President in 2024. Former President Trump has already announced that he will run again.

Most Presidential candidates will delay announcing formally that they are running since the announcement triggers definite rules that apply and must be followed. The President nominated two well qualified persons to fill each of the important agriculture trade positions. Both have now been confirmed by the Senate. The two positions are the Ambassador for Agricultural Trade at USTR and the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs at USDA. By the time this article is published, both should have been sworn into their office and be on the job. This will be beneficial to agriculture trade issues generally, including almonds. The international situation is increasingly unstable. The war in Ukraine continues with the death toll on both sides increasing daily of both combatants and civilians. Despite



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efforts by third parties, the conflict has not stopped and does not appear to be ending. It is reliably reported that both China and India are working with Russia against Ukraine. U.S. policy is still not clear that the U.S. wants Ukraine to win the war. The U.S. is supporting Ukraine with dollars and weapons, but there is no clear policy. U.S. relations with China continue to be difficult. The U.S. continues to pass legislation that China finds offensive. This includes defense funding and defense equipment for Taiwan and the prohibition of certain Chinese companies from operating in the U.S. The U.S. is moving to allow Taiwan to open an official office in Washington. There are ongoing trade discussions with Taiwan. The speculation that China will invade Taiwan in the foreseeable future continues to grow and be discussed openly. Additionally, China has increased its control in Hong Kong. North Korea has resumed firing missiles in an open hostile fashion. If a new war occurs in any of these regions or expands in the Ukraine/Russia war, it is predictable that it will have an adverse impact on almond exports. One example is that if China cuts off shipping lanes in the South China Sea, trade deliveries will be impacted. This will further the current supply chain difficulties. This Administration is not disposed to enter into new Free Trade Agreements. India, the UK, and Kenya have made it clear that each country would like to establish an FTA with the U.S. No progress has been made to adopt any of these. Trade discussions continue with Africa, China, and the EU. The Administration has started talks with 13 Pacific Rim Countries known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Agreement. Commerce will lead the discussions covering supply chain, clean energy, anti-corruption, and tax. USTR

will cover labor standards, agriculture regulations and digital rules. Tariff rates are not part of this negotiation. The Administration has also begun trade discussions known as the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity. This also does not include tariff negotiations. Despite a lot of hard work by both Democrats and Republicans, it has not been possible to pass legislation which will provide a legal workforce to harvest agricultural crops or work at dairies. The latest effort was to include legislation in the Omnibus funding bill that passed last month to keep the government open and running, but it was not successful. The Omnibus bill that funded the government through the remainder of this fiscal year was over 4,100 pages in length. It was so big that Congress had to also pass a Continuing Resolution to fund the government until the end of December to allow the Omnibus bill to be enrolled. This is a technical requirement before a bill is sent to the President to be signed. The President will sign the Omnibus bill when it reaches him. With inflation still impacting millions, it can be anticipated that the Administration will continue to work to stop it. This may include additional legislation and regulations that they believe may help.

Blue Diamond Advocate Julian B. Heron, Partner, Tuttle, Taylor & Heron




Encouraging Neighborhood Management of NOW Through the Use of a Web Map Application

By Land IQ: map-application ? utm_campaign=374dbac6-9fc8-40a1-ba74-e789e100fdc6&utm_source=so&utm_ medium=mail&cid=5dbac9d9-b95a-4d6d-818b-b0cb26307ce7

mates by flooding an orchard with female pheromones that make it more difficult for males to find females, mate, and lay eggs. Research has shown that when using MD in orchards as small as 40 acres, growers can reduce NOW damage by 35-53 percent, however when implemented in orchards greater than 40 acres, the reduction can be as high as 78 percent. Unfortunately, adoption of MD technology amongst smaller growers has lagged due to limited benefits. To address this problem, the Almond Board of California (ABC) pursued a grant through the Department of Pesticide Regulations to encourage small growers to voluntarily work together to create larger blocks of orchards, across a variety of tree nut crops, to manage NOW. Working together with Land IQ, Blue Diamond Growers , and UC Cooperative Extension, ABC has developed an online web mapping application that allows Pest Control Advisors and growers to identify their orchards and indicate whether or not they already implement MD or have an interest in participating in a neighborhood management program. The first pilot area for this new program was launched in an area west of Modesto, in Stanislaus County. After testing in this initial area, the tool has been rolled out statewide and is available for any pistachio, walnut, or almond grower to submit their interest in participation.

The Navel Orangeworm (NOW) is a primary pest of California almonds, walnuts and pistachios and can be found in both agricultural and non-agricultural hosts. The tree nut industry in California alone covers more than 2.5 million acres, providing significant area for expansion. NOW moths often lay their eggs on nuts that remain on the tree after harvest, laying over through the winter, until the spring when the newly hatched larvae feed on nutmeats, impacting the amount and quality of marketable nuts harvested. There are a number of methods for controlling NOW, including timely harvest, orchard sanitation, monitoring of flights, timely use of spray and more recently, mating disruption pheromones. Mating disruption (MD) interferes with the natural process that male NOW moths use to find



In areas where interest among growers reaches 40 contiguous acres, participants will be notified that there is a match with neighbors. If you are interested in participating in the program, we encourage you to utilize the web mapping application. Below are the credentials to log in and tag your orchards.

Article contributed by Land IQ

Website: Passcode: nowmd





2022 State of the Almond Industry: Tough Times, but Indicators Point to Turnaround

After undoubtedly one of the most difficult years almond growers have faced in decades, Almond Board of California (ABC) president and CEO, Richard Waycott, and Board of Directors chair, Alexi Rodriguez, discussed the reality of current industry challenges, while offering hope and a plan of action during the State of the Almond Industry presentation at the 50th annual Almond Conference. Between water scarcity, high product carry-in, logistical and supply chain issues, and rising interest rates, the almond community’s resiliency was certainly tested over the past 12 months, and “the combination has created this perfect storm that’s really had a profound impact on our industry,” Rodriguez said. To provide an overview of current supply and demand trends, David Magaña, senior analyst at RaboResearch Food and Agribusiness, reiterated that almonds are becoming an increasingly popular product among

consumers. While this development is certainly welcomed, inflation is also the highest in four decades, pinching the pockets of consumers, driving up production costs for growers and increasing costs throughout the supply chain. Reassuringly, experts predict demand-driven inflation will subside within the next two years, and because container shortages have diminished, transportation logistics are improving, Magaña explained. Almond Acreage and Production Down It’s no secret that production numbers for the current harvest year are estimated to decrease and acreage numbers have decreased for the first time in more than a quarter of a century. However, Bryce Spycher, ABC Senior Manager of Marketing Order Services, stated that as a whole, we continue to see massive increases in pounds by the millions about every nine years.

ABC Chair Alexi Rodriguez and President and CEO Richard Waycott update attendees about the state of the almond industry at The Almond Conference 2022.

ABC Chair Alexi Rodriguez and President and CEO Richard Waycott discuss the current financial environment for the almond industry with RaboResearch’s David Magaña at The Almond Conference 2022 in Sacramento.



So, where are all these pounds going ? Spycher explained that 70 percent of all production is exported to more than 100 different countries, while 30 percent is consumed domestically. In recent years, there’s been a spike in domestic consumption, he said, particularly in mechanically-altered almonds — sliced, diced, blanched or otherwise not in-shell. Partnering to Combat Issues The Almond Board is fortunate to have a unique partnership with the Almond Alliance of California, which advocates on behalf of the industry in public policy arenas. Under the leadership of president and CEO Aubrey Bettencourt, the Alliance’s commitment to supply chain issues has leveraged relationships with five major carriers in negotiating how product can move faster and more efficiently across all ports. Additionally, the Alliance has partnered with Western United Dairies and the California Department of Water Resources to roll out Land Flex , a drought relief program providing farmers with compliance resources related to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). “We are not done as an industry, and we have a lot of room to grow,” Bettencourt said. “It’s a tough time but let me tell you, don’t confuse vision and direction to turn obstacles into opportunity and that’s what we’re going to do.” Strategizing to Meet Challenges With a changing industry comes a changing strategy, particularly in exploring untapped audiences. To be proactive, Rodriguez explained the newest cross- functional project in the works. Titled “Thea,” this tool will help predict, plan and strategize ABC’s foundation of activities over the next 10-15 years. Waycott also introduced how the team at ABC shifted its focus to promote almonds in unconventional outlets including March Madness, Marvel Studios, Sanremo Music Festival, Tmall — a Chinese e-commerce website — the well-known gaming platform called Twitch, and they’ve even explored efforts within the Metaverse. Other marketing campaigns designed to focus on the health and beauty benefits of almonds continue to

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be successful in India and Asia – two of ABC’s most profitable regions. The Almond Board has also made it a priority to tell all aspects of the industry’s story, with touchpoints in carbon, water and zero waste. In doing so, they’ve partnered with media outlets including the New York Times, Atlantic Magazine, Men’s Health and Women’s Health to drive these messages to new audiences. When it comes to developing relationships with the U.S. government and importers, it is not a “one size fits all” situation, as each importer has an individual set of technical, sustainable, and environmental expectations, explained Julie Adams, ABC vice president of technical and regulatory affairs, and Jonathan Hoff, chair of the Technical and Regulatory Affairs committee. As a result, Adams discussed the retooling of the California Almond Stewardship Platform, an integration of research, education and self-assessment resources to help growers and handlers address consumer demands. Much of this information would not be possible without the investment ABC has made and continues to make in

data collection. Funding continues to research leaf-footed bugs, Navel orangeworm control, rootstock selection, groundwater recharge, pesticide application, and whole orchard recycling, said ABC chief scientific officer, Josette Lewis, and Devin Clarke, chair of the Strategic Ag Innovation committee. The team at ABC also concepted new ways to be smart water users and utilize all four viable products coming from the orchard: the nut, shell, hull and woody biomass. From nutritional bars to coffee made from hulls, Lewis reiterated, “it isn’t just one gallon per nut; look at all the things you get with a handful of almonds.” While hardships still loom over the industry, a silver lining lies in the struggle of it all — the opportunity to learn, grow and innovate from these experiences. “While it’s going take a little bit of time, I’m confident that the work we’re currently engaged in will help aid the industry as we move through these difficult times,” Rodriguez concluded . Article contributed by The Almond Board of California

Blue Diamond Growers does not endorse or verify statements made by advertisers within this publication.



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