2019 promises to be an eventful and exciting year. Blue Diamond is committed to closing out this decade with strategies and innovations that will deliver industry-leading returns to each of you. By strengthening our partnerships and building upon our past years’ successes, our cooperative is on track to achieving positive results.
Globally, the almond industry remains strong and, while this crop began with uncertainty due to tariff issues and fluctuating expectations on crop size, buying and selling are at their usual activity. Export markets, particularly China and Turkey, have been impacted and we are keeping a close eye on the ongoing U.S.-China trade talks that could change the landscape yet again. I am pleased to report that the U.S. market is growing as almondmilk and almond flour add to snack almond and ingredient consumption.
To that end, the Blue Diamond brand started the year off confidently. The cooperative made its debut in the annual Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California on January 1. Our entry featured grower-owners waving proudly to crowds from a float that attracted attention to our Almond Breeze brand and deserved recognition to our family of growers who produce the almonds that make the best almondmilk. Participation in the parade was extremely valuable for Blue Diamond and our brand with millions of people tuning in to watch.
With every new year also comes new years’ resolutions making it the perfect time to introduce healthy products in the market. Our Almond Breeze offerings expanded with the launch of two products: Almond Breeze Almondmilk Creamer and Almond Breeze Almondmilk Blended with Real Bananas. We expect these to meet the needs of our consumers and further add value for our brand and our grower-owners. We must keep up the momentum.
For many of our grower-owners, the focus is now on bloom and doing all you can to ensure it is a good one. We may have to navigate another year of unpredictable weather, but Blue Diamond growers have shown remarkable resilience in delivering bountiful crops. No matter what Mother Nature holds in store for us this year, I encourage you to reach out to your Regional Manager if you have any questions about best practices.
Being able to sustain the lives and lands of our growers through marketing and education is the power of a cooperative. In January, I had the opportunity to introduce California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross to our 22nd class of Young Leaders. During her address, she shared genuine gratitude for what California farmers are able to accomplish and what also makes Blue Diamond unique.
“Think about the people who made the investment and gave up their time to create an entity that would last much longer than them or that they would even see the return for. That’s leadership. Those are people who were willing to come together, work together, and build something together that had a benefit far beyond their own personal bottom line.”-CDFA Secretary Karen Ross
Her words are true. We continue to work together to build a brand that customers and consumers love and trust. I want to thank Secretary Ross for inspiring our next generation of leaders and extend our congratulations on her reappointment. Our global markets and industry are better served with her leadership.
My wish for the new year is that all our grower-owners have a good bloom and great crop to feed the marketplace. We will deliver on our promise to bring the benefits of almonds to the world. The best is yet to come!