Serving Our Communities in Uncertain Times
A message from Mark Jansen, President and CEO, Blue Diamond Growers
Many say the coronavirus COVID-19 could be the greatest challenge for this generation. While daily there are new challenges and uncertainties, each day is also filled with heroic action and hope. This is true for our country and certainly for our cooperative. Blue Diamond Growers is approaching this time with recognition for the important role we play.
We continue to manage this unprecedented situation to the best of our abilities. It is our aspiration that decades from now, we will look back at the actions we are taking and find that our resolve and resiliency are unmatched. We are fortunate that as an essential industry, we can avoid layoffs for our team members and ensure economic certainty for grower-owners. It is our responsibility and duty to ensure the food supply and take special care for our frontline team members in manufacturing and warehousing.
We are doing our part to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Blue Diamond’s top priority remains to protect the health and safety of our team members as we ensure business continuity for our grower-owners. A number of mitigation measures were implemented, including suspending all business travel, postponing large events and meetings, increasing already stringent cleaning and disinfection protocols at all facilities and reinforcing social distancing throughout each of our campuses.
As has been the case for many of our grower-owners, team members’ lives have been disrupted by school and business closures. We are supporting those team members who are able to work from home and regularly provide updates to be sure we stay connected wherever they may be. Our ongoing commitment to integrity and transparency of communication allows us to continue operating reliably and efficiently.
I had the opportunity to talk with team members on the production floor and office areas in Sacramento, Salida and Turlock, and was inspired by a strong sense of pride in the important work we do. That dedication is being recognized. We’ve heard from the CEOs of Walmart, Hood and several other key customers who extended their appreciation to our grower-owners and team members for working to help them keep food on their shelves for families around the world. We are constantly assessing business needs and balancing our available workforce with our production schedules to meet these critical demands.
We are also using this time to leverage our community giving strategy by partnering with organizations that provide services to those in need. With that in mind, Blue Diamond worked with local food banks and non-profit organizations to provide donations of our shelf-stable almond products to help families impacted by this pandemic. In times like these, food can provide a source of hope for many and it’s encouraging to see that Blue Diamond can make an impact.
There’s potentially a long road ahead of us and I am confident that Blue Diamond’s leadership team and board of directors have the expertise and business experience to make good decisions on behalf of our 3,000 grower owners. We appreciate the trust our grower-owners, team members and partners place in us every day. I encourage our grower-owners to reach out to our Member Relations team for help or support. They will continue to fulfill the commitment of the cooperative.
Through this global crisis, Blue Diamond will make every effort to prioritize the safety and wellness of our grower-owners and team members while still fulfilling our vision to deliver the benefits of almonds to the world. This year’s glorious and nearly perfect bloom is a great metaphor for the optimism we feel for the future. Continue and always believe that for Blue Diamond Growers, the Best is Yet to Come.
A message to Blue Diamond employees from Chairman of the Board Dan Cummings.
On behalf of the Blue Diamond Growers’ Board of Directors and its 3,000 appreciative grower-owners, I want to extend our sincere gratitude to the entire Blue Diamond workforce for your dedication above and beyond over the last few weeks.
The extraordinary challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in personal hurdles few could anticipate: the travel restrictions, stay at home orders, closed school campuses, and canceled events have daily implications for us all. In spite of this adversity, Blue Diamond team members have consistently demonstrated superior teamwork supporting each other and working together to keep the business running, production lines moving, and product shipped.
We are honored by your unwavering commitment to support our vision of delivering the benefits of almonds to the world, and hope that you feel more proud than ever to wear a Blue Diamond badge.
As you’ve seen, the spotlight on our nation’s “critical infrastructure” reinforces that Food and Agriculture is at the very core of what’s essential for daily life. There is no doubt that Blue Diamond plays an integral role in helping put food on the table of families around the world, providing healthy snacks, almondmilk and protein-rich ingredients for home-cooked meals.
I’ve heard from many fellow growers who, like me, have trusted Blue Diamond with our almonds, literally our livelihood, for years. We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to stand behind the combined expertise and strength of this co-op. In difficult times like these, the importance of the relationships that Blue Diamond has built and cultivated over the last 110 years with customers, manufacturing partners, and shipping lines among others, cannot be overstated. Those relationships help deliver our almonds into the homes of consumers, providing nourishment for their families, while sustaining our family farms.
Please know that you are making a difference in the lives of others through the jobs you do every day for our Blue Diamond co-op. We respect and appreciate you all.