Blue Diamond Does Big E-Commerce on Amazon
Mark Jansen is CEO of Blue Diamond Growers. “Three years ago, we were in strategic planning and seeing what was happening and realize that we had to get dramatically better at e-commerce,” he said.
“So, I think if we do this right, Amazon can become one of our top five largest customers within five years. And at the time I believe we were, it was w it was still had a nice business, but it was like our 87th largest customer at that time,” Jansen said.
“So what we did is we over-invested to develop our muscle around e-commerce. We hired away a director of e-commerce from ConAgra, which is a much, much bigger food company,” Jansen said. “I think most people don’t realize that being on a scale basis, working in e-commerce requires many changes within your supply chain and customer service and your web presence. It’s not as easy as just hopping on Amazon and selling something,” he noted.
Jansen said Blue Diamond Growers has worked hard over the last couple of years to fully develop its e-commerce offering. Jansen said they were doubling and tripling their business over the year.
“In this past year, we did that. We more than doubled it again, and certainly, the COVID pandemic accelerated those efforts for us and so Amazon—well it didn’t take five years it was just over three years, became a
Growers are Loyal to Blue Diamond Growers
Blue Diamond Growers, is the only cooperative in the almond industry, and it has loyal growers. Charles Crivelli is a Walnut and almond grower in the Stanislaus County area. He’s a member of Blue Diamond Growers and he loves being part of that Cooperative.
“Blue Diamond is the only cooperative and bit is the largest almond processor in the world. It’s been a real leader in the industry working along with the Almond Board of California and a dynamic organization— constantly developing new product lines, and they spend a lot of time on promotion marketing, truly been a leader in the industry,” said Crevelli.
“There’s about a 110- plus independent processors. And then there’s the Blue Diamond Co-op, with 3,000 members give or take. It’s a dynamic organization, and an organization that I have really enjoyed being a part of,” Crevelli said. “And the CEO Mark Jansen has done a fantastic job. Just doing a phenomenal job and leading the organization in the industry.”
And Jansen’s been heading up the co-op for more than 10 years.
Blue diamond Growers was founded in 1910, which means the Co-op is 110 years old this year.
Buyers of Almonds Are Asking More Questions About Farm Practices
By Patrick Cavanaugh, AgInfo.net
Ben Goudie is membership development with Blue Diamond Growers, who move a lot of almonds around the word.
He noted that buyers of their products for distribution are interested in sustainability growing practices. “You know, in the past sales conversations have been pretty basic, with general questions about price and availability,” said Goudie. “Now, a lot of the sales meetings start with conversations about sustainability, start with conversations about corporate social responsibility and what we’re doing with our growers. What we’re also doing in manufacturing, looking at energy savings, looking at all aspects of sustainability on the corporate level,” h explained.
And the Almond Board of California’s Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) where growers fill out information on their growing practices is part of the information Blue Diamond Growers share where their buyers. “We are using the CASP survey as the basis for our grower information. We are also working on a full and comprehensive sustainability program with our sustainability manager, Catherine Campbell, and she has put together a full package that we supply to our buyers,” Goudie said.
Goudie noted that the in-house sustainability program they’re putting together is comprehensive. “It is pretty robust—everything from energy savings to looking at our distribution and supply chain, how we’ve made savings and looking at our carbon footprint,” he said.