Yes, It was A Challenging Year for Blue Diamond Growers
Blue Diamond Almonds, 110th annual meeting. Of course, it was virtual. CEO Mark Jansen explained the many challenges this year.
“For many around the world 2020 was a unique and many times challenging year. It started for us before the pandemic. We had had a fire the previous year in Sacramento at our main processing facility,” said Jansen. “And while we were successful in saving the facility and rebuilding, we still had to make up and build inventories. And so, at the start of our season, we actually had to tell our salespeople not to aggressively sell, to allow inventories to catch.”
And then there was the trade war, which hurt the China export market, Mark Jansen.
“We had a 50% tariff disadvantage, versus Australia,” noted Jansen.
And that hurts sales badly. And then the latest problem, of course it was the COVID pandemic.
“COVID had multiple impacts for us. First of all, from a market perspective, essentially shut down the food service industry and restaurant. And almonds, particularly in markets like Europe, are a big part of bakery and food service. And so we had customers there who were literally out of business for months at a time. And those markets dried up,” Jansen explained.
“On the flip side was we also had to keep up with spiking demand in markets like almond flour. As many people were home and rediscovering baking in particular, healthy baking. Our almond flour business exploded,” he said.