From One Blue Diamond Family to Another
Adversity often brings out the true character of a business or individual and the compassion, agility and resilience displayed throughout our organization these last several months has been both inspiring and humbling. The COVID-19 situation has clearly reinforced the strength of our co-op and our people.
I want to assure you that despite the challenges, we are managing through the crisis and taking good care of the almonds our grower-owners entrust us to handle. Our manufacturing and operations teams are keeping production lines running and the supply chain open, and our sales forces successfully adjusted to a market no one could have anticipated.
Stay-at-home orders drove increased demand for Almond Breeze® and almond flour resulting in significant sales growth. More shoppers staying and working from home obviously increased online sales. Orders of Blue Diamond® products on Amazon saw unprecedented growth, up 300 to 400% since the pandemic began. Despite significant global supply chain disruption that slowed execution across different geographies, our deep international and U.S. connections positioned us well to be agile and shift focus as needed to most effectively bring your crops to market. Although sales are now returning to a more normal pace, I’m proud that our supply chain and logistics group was able to successfully handle record-breaking March shipments across the U.S. and around the world.
While we remain committed to maintaining business continuity, our first priority has been protecting the health and safety of our 1,800 team members. We have consistently communicated operational changes necessary to protect our team members and help prevent spread of the virus. Additionally, we introduced mandatory temperature screenings, plexiglass shields and face masks at all facilities to further ensure a healthy work environment for our team.
Looking down the road, all indications point to a record crop this year. Given the economic stressors caused by the COVID-19 situation, and ongoing record crops, I believe we can certainly expect to see pressure on pricing. However, I’m confident Blue Diamond is ready to process and market our almonds despite these challenging times.
As a co-op, we’ve successfully weathered many bumpy roads before – from droughts to freezes to recessions. From one Blue Diamond family to another, I wish you continued health. There is no doubt we’ll be able to manage through this crisis together and come out stronger for it. As I always say, “The Best is Yet to Come.”