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Values Series

Delivery truck
Delivery truck with sacks of processed almonds to Southern Pacific Railroad terminal on Front Street for shipment in the 1920s.
In 1910 when 230 industrious California almond growers organized the California Almond Growers Exchange, they quickly identified core values to encourage all almond growers to join the cooperative: an intuitive ability to build relationships; communicate directly and honestly; and commit unequivocally to the idea that working together cooperatively would allow them to achieve the best return on their investment.

Their commitment to these core values paid off in the end because very quickly over half of the state's almond growers pooled their resources and joined the cooperative. This was the beginning of their resolve to prove the power of partnership. They began working with U.S. government officials, the predominant Spanish and Italian almond producers (over 80 percent of the world supply was in Spain and Italy), and buyers, mostly from New York who had family connections to almond producers in Europe, to gather market intelligence and statistical information so they could market and sell their almonds for the best value.

Their resolve soon resulted in better profitability and a realization that they needed a brand that would differentiate their almonds from European-grown ones. The Blue Diamond brand quickly became the symbol for integrity and excellence not only for their almonds but also for their small cooperative. They hired a manager and marketing and sales experts as the business blossomed and their ability to innovate new uses and markets for almonds evolved and created value for buyers and consumers. They were the first in a U.S. food industry to link nutritional values to almonds and advocate them to consumers.

At the turn of the 19th century, the blue diamond, a gem known for its renowned quality had become synonymous with Blue Diamond almonds from California. The cooperative began developing quality standards, testing technology and new production and processing techniques in the orchards and in their plant to deliver the best almonds possible to consumers.

Their commitment to these core values was cemented in the first 10 years of their existence and they continued to seal their leadership position in the world almond market. Today, it's through cultivated relationship building, open communication and commitment to customer satisfaction that the cooperative continues to thrive. Integrity and excellence in everything almond has promoted unprecedented growth, innovation, quality and value for a whole food that is coveted by consumers worldwide. Today over 80 percent of the world almond supply grows in the Mediterranean-like valleys of California.


Relationships, Communications and Commitment
Relationships, Communications and Commitment

An inside look at how good communication and building relationships became the heartbeat of a successful cooperative.
Integrity and Excellence
Integrity and Excellence

Learn how the evolution of the Blue Diamond brand quickly became the symbol for integrity and excellence.
Innovation and Nutrition
Innovation and Nutrition

Discover how Blue Diamond first linked nutritional information about almonds to the diet in the 1920s.
Marketing, Leadership and Innovation
Marketing, Leadership and Innovation

How fierce foreign competition led Blue Diamond to take center stage in creating a world market for California almonds.
Quality and Sustainability
Quality and Sustainability

How the cooperative developed quality standards, testing technology and growing and processing techniques to sustain the almond industry long-term.