Blue Diamond Almond Facts November-December 2021



Blue Diamond’s own Director of Sustainability, Dr. Dan Sonke led a grower session that covered an in-depth update on Blue Diamond’s Orchard Stewardship Program and how it relates to CASP.

Why is Sustainability Good for Blue Diamond - And You? Since my last Almond Facts article, I’ve been diving headfirst into the sustainability incentive program for grower members. August marked the end of the first crop year of the program. The results exceeded Orchard Stewardship Incentive Level Requirements and Rewards

CASP modules required: 1.Pest Management 2. Workplace + Community 3. Nutrient + Soil Management 4. Financial Management Reward: $500 per harvest year

All modules in One Diamond, plus: 5. Irrigation Management 6. Ecosystem Management Reward: $750 plus $.005/pound

All modules in previous levels, plus: 7. Bee Health + Pollination 8. Air Quality 9. Energy Efficiency – Bee Friendly Certification – Cool Farm Tool Assessment Reward: $1,000 plus $.01/pound

expectations. You might be interested in some of the results and how they are useful to your cooperative. Before I share the results for the 2020 crop year, let me explain some things about the program that will appear different for the 2021 crop year. First, there is no significant change to the program this year. The requirements and benefits of the incentive program are not changing for any of the tiers of the incentive program. For each tier of rewards, the same modules of the Almond Board of California’s California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) are involved. For the top tier, the additional requirements of Bee Friendly Farming certification and use of the Cool Farm Tool are also unchanged. What is changing is the name of the incentive. Going forward, the program will be known as the Blue Diamond Orchard Stewardship Program. As someone who grew up on an almond

*  Verification required: At least 75% of the contract’s acreage must qualify for the highest rank in order to be paid out at that level.

farm, I have always felt that what the world calls “sustainable agriculture” is rooted in the practical, daily care that farmers invest in stewarding their orchard for the future — the future of their families and their communities. The activities promoted as sustainable should result, in the long term, in

orchards that are more efficient, financially profitable, better for regional air and water resources, and with soil which will remain healthy and viable for generations to come. This is reflected in the name “Orchard Stewardship Program.”

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