Global almond processor and marketer Blue Diamond Growers has started the expansion of its processing facility in Turlock, California, US.

As part of this initiative, the company held a ground-breaking ceremony at the 200,000ft² manufacturing plant.

The expansion is part of Blue Diamond’s plan to further enhance the value-added product lines.

Blue Diamond Growers president and CEO Mark Jansen said: “We are pleased to build our partnership with the Turlock community by investing to expand our facilities and workforce.

“We are creating the healthiest almond products and delivering the benefits of almonds to the world. This project allows Blue Diamond to meet the growing demand for our innovative almond products.”

“This project allows Blue Diamond to meet the growing demand for our innovative almond products.”

The company noted that the 52,000ft² building will be part of a three-phase project that will eventually yield a total of about 500,000ft² of building space over the next nine years.

Scheduled to be completed in 2020, the expansion will see the installation of automated processing and packaging equipment that is expected to increase Blue Diamond’s manufacturing capacity.

The project is also expected to accommodate the cooperative’s business growth.

Initially, Blue Diamond announced plans to build a manufacturing plant in Turlock in April 2012.

Blue Diamond board chairman Dan Cummings said: “We are thankful to our growers who own this cooperative for entrusting their almonds to us so we can continue to make valuable investments. This project gives them a secure future in the almond business.”

Established in 1910, Blue Diamond represents more than 3,000 almond growers in California.