during COVID was made possible. In fact, our dedicated team members embraced the extra precautions that were necessary during the pandemic. We are proud to have kept our lines continuously operational. It is only appropriate that we say thank you for the quality work they do under unusually difficult circumstances.
Good news, almond prices have returned to more normal levels, up at least $.50 from last year. Accordingly, the impact from the extra profit windfall earned by our consumer business is reduced. We are back to our return glide path and targeting a healthy $.14 return advantage. Even better news is that your payments will grow larger. We trust you will appreciate this progress. Over the course of 35 years at Blue Diamond , there is one man, Bill Morecraft, who has led the sale of more almonds than anyone in world history. As Blue Diamond ’s Senior Vice President of Global Ingredients, he just completed his greatest ever performance as we successfully sold through the record 2020 crop. Nobody is more deserving of a standing ovation than Bill who will retire from Blue Diamond at the end of the year. Please join me in congratulating Bill for his many contributions to Blue Diamond and the California Almond Industry.
Blue Diamond team members understand we have a noble purpose. With 3,000 farm family owners who entrust us with their year’s work in the form of the almond crop. There are new challenges to delivering this mission. If you are listening to the business press, you will hear of near universal difficulties around supply chain disruptions, inflation, finding workers, the great resignation and new government regulations. While I cannot make promises to the impact of these still emerging threats. Blue Diamond leadership is planning and preparing to minimize any impact to your cooperative business. Every year presents new challenges as well as opportunities. As you know, we have demonstrated an incredible talent for nimbleness in the face of major plant fires, large crops, short crops, pandemics, and perpetual change. I have incredible faith in everyone who plays a role in Blue Diamond ’s success. This is my 12th annual meeting and know that you trust me when I say at Blue Diamond , The Best is Yet to Come!
Through the last two years there are so many people worthy of recognition, and it all begins with our front-line workers in manufacturing and distribution. These everyday heroes account for more than 80% of our workforce. Our most important workday action is to ensure that each of us goes home safely. With years of work training, communicating, and living a safety culture; our success in staying operational
Mark Jansen President & CEO
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