Company Info

Blue Diamond Growers Clean Food Policy

Blue Diamond Growers supports the concept that the Federal government should have primary oversight responsibility to assure the public that the food industry is producing a safe, dependable supply of wholesome and nutritious food at reasonable prices.

As a result of the almond industry's continued compliance with rigid standards, California almonds have long enjoyed a reputation for outstanding quality expected by marketers and consumers around the world. To further protect and enhance that reputation, Blue Diamond:

  • supports the California Department of Food and Agriculture's stringent enforcement of the state's comprehensive food safety programs, which include the monitoring of samples of fresh commodities for the detection of pesticides.
  • adheres to the Code of Federal Regulations regarding the manufacturing of a safe food as endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • supports the development of governmental, scientific and industry communication/education programs designed to provide consumers with an increased awareness of the role agricultural chemicals play in the production and ultimate supply of affordable, nutritious and wholesome food products.
  • supports the judicious use of agricultural chemicals in the production of food.
  • supports the development and implementation of effective new products and technologies which would result in an overall reduction in the amount of agricultural chemicals used.
  • supports strong penalties against parties found guilty of knowingly and intentionally violating the laws governing agricultural chemicals for the purpose of economic gain.
  • supports the development and submission of all necessary data pertaining to an agricultural chemical's environmental fate and health risk studies on a timely basis.
  • supports the concept to license all users as well as requiring all users of chemicals to log the amounts, types and dates when such chemicals are applied.
  • supports the development of scientific studies, subject to a peer review by knowledgeable and recognized scientific leaders directed at providing consumers with the safest and healthiest supply of food possible.

1997/98 Blue Diamond Clean Food Program

Blue Diamond will continue to support clean food programs to assure consumers worldwide that its products are the highest quality in the world. These programs include:

  • Blue Diamond participation in a random sampling program with the National Food Laboratory (NFL), an outside lab which tests for more than 200 pesticides on almonds. The chemicals tested will coincide with those listed as a result of legislation passed in Proposition 65 and 40 CFR.
  • adheres to the Code of Federal Regulations regarding the manufacturing of a safe food as endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Blue Diamond will continue its own stringent testing programs for food safety through its Quality Control and HACCP programs (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point).
  • Blue Diamond will work through the Almond Board of California to assure that the entire almond industry complies with strict state and federal standards.

Blue Diamond Test Results To Date

According to the NFL, independent testing lab results on the 1996 Blue Diamond crop samples show NO detectable traces of pesticides. Blue Diamond growers are diligent about using only registered pesticides, applying them at the proper doses and at the recommended times. The DFA and NFL pesticide screening program checks for over 200 different chemical compounds. Blue Diamond also does further testing for food safety in its own laboratory.

Almonds have some natural advantages which help protect them from residues. The most obvious is the double layer of protection provided by the shell and hull. Almond growers have been at the forefront of integrated pest management, which promotes judicious use of chemical sprays. By using devices such as egg traps to determine when pests are becoming acute, growers avoid unnecessary chemical applications. Cultural practices, such as removal of mummy nuts (nuts which escaped harvest) to deprive naval orangeworm of a winter home, have also helped reduce pests with less use of pesticides.

Chemicals used now are much more specific than the borad-spectrum chemicals used in the past. Dormant sprays applied in the winter help control peach twig borer, scale and mites long before the trees have any foliage or nuts. Fungicides are also applied when the nutlet is still pea-sized and protected by plant tissue.

By eliminating mummies, doing a good job with dormant sprays and carefully monitoring for pests, Blue Diamond growers have reduced the amount of chemical applications they need. Just 15 years ago, dormant sprays for almonds cost about $15 to $20 an acre. The same applications now are $40 to $60 an acre. That's a 300 percent increase--a price growers are not willing to pay unless absolutely necessary.

The almond orchard is a man-made environment that will continue to require intervention by man and the materials he needs to control pests and provide food in sufficient quantities for this heavily populated planet. Blue Diamond growers applaud the new pest control technologies being researched, such as mass trapping and odor confusion to reduce the need for pesticides, and will work hard to continue to produce the highest quality products in the world through timely monitoring.