In the Northern Sacramento Valley in 1904, Andersen’s began farming cattle, walnuts, and prunes. Today, business is still going strong for the family-owned company now called Andersen & Sons Shelling.
After many years of hard work and dedication, the business has grown and evolved. Fourteen years ago, the company made an important decision to focus on the production of walnuts and became the company we know today. Andersen & Sons Shelling’s success is driven by being diverse, while holding true to its philosophy to provide superior products with excellent customer service.
The company currently offers conventional and organic walnuts in-shell and various kernel product types, shipping to over 30 countries across the world, including: Japan, Australia, the Republic of Korea (South Korea), and Germany.
Andersen & Sons’ vice-president of sales Mike Andersen, explained: "Andersen & Sons is different because we are a fourth generation, family-owned farm. We started with Black Angus, prunes, and walnuts and pride ourselves in doing big business with a small-town feel.
"Our mission is to establish and maintain relationships with our growers and buyers. We strive to treat everyone with the same honesty, integrity, and respect and want to provide the best high-end products available on the market. Over the last 13 years, numbers of walnuts processed has increased from 750,000lb a year in 2002, to 54 million lb in 2015.
One of the major problems Andersen & Sons faced in the past was their inability to identify defects using just laser sorters. Having outgrown its latest machine, they needed something that would meet the company’s specific demands.
Mike continues: "TOMRA is a familiar name in the industry. We have been using TOMRA laser sorters since 2005, but we recently purchased TOMRA’s Nimbus free fall sorting machine with Biometric Signature Identification (BSI), a larger machine with advanced laser sorting technology.
"The Nimbus BSI is able to process larger quantities of walnuts at the same time, meaning it has the ability to increase productivity and reduce any foreign material. Since purchasing the Nimbus BSI, we have been able to satisfy a larger customer base due to the output being of a higher quality.
"This gives us the capacity to be able to sell to a range of customers while retaining both old and new customers based on our quality return to them. We also expect to see a three to four year payback period as we’ve been able to increase our production of a cleaner product.
"The Nimbus BSI not only gives us the ability to pack much more efficiently, but it is extremely user-friendly. The benefit of this means we are able to decrease the number of employees it takes to operate the machines."
Now that we have machines with both lasers and cameras, we are confident that we are picking up on foreign material that used to slip through.
Mike concludes: "Aside from clearing out foreign material and defects in the product, knowing that TOMRA offers us a big-service-presence, which is second to none and adds great value to our business.
"One of our biggest challenges for the future is keeping up with customer demand for quality and volume. By working with TOMRA and implementing the Nimbus BSI, we know this is a challenge we can tackle as these machines set us apart from the rest."