- Blue Diamond Growers continues double-digit sales growth
- Almond Breeze on target for massive sales in Japan
CEO wants to "bullet-proof" the cooperative in next few years
Blue Diamond Growers' CEO Mark Jansen addresses grower members at the cooperative's 103rd annual meeting. Jansen later spoke exclusively with Western Farm Press about the company's successes and where it's going from here.
Bullet-proof the co-op
Jansen wants to use the current high-times within the almond industry to “bullet-proof the co-op.” By that he means the company needs to now begin preparing for lean years that inevitably come as a result of normal business cycles. He intends to do this through developing a holistic business approach that he hopes will put Blue Diamond grower returns at least 10 cents per pound ahead of the rest of the almond industry.
The holistic approach he talks about will include a top-to-bottom look at everything from the grower to the consumer and how the company can improve its margins throughout the system. Jansen realizes it won’t be easy given that the company has already successfully trimmed wasteful operations and found new ways to become even more efficient.
This integrated look will factor in the entire supply chain, including transportation, warehousing, logistics and demand planning.
One large area where the company will continue to see its efficiencies improve is in the 200,000 square foot Turlock processing facility, which went online in 2013.
“We’ve built Turlock to be modular,” he said, meaning the facility can be expanded simply by moving walls with a crane and adding space to the facility.
“You should be prepared for the economic benefits of this facility to continue to grow,” he told growers in December.
Consumption of Blue Diamond almonds continues to grow, particularly where consumer advertising is being employed, Jansen said. In the four markets where consumer advertising was increased last year, a marked increase in product consumption was seen. Shipment growth in 2012-1013 grew by 8 percent in the United States, 8 percent in the United Kingdom, 7 percent in Japan and 40 percent in Australia, he said.
Conversely, Asian countries where Blue Diamond does not yet advertise saw 5 percent decreases in sales.
“We’re still working our way into other markets around the globe,” Jansen said. “But the trajectory is there to continue our growth.”