Blue Diamond Growers, a US-based agricultural co-operative, has started construction of its new almond facility in Turlock, California, US, to boost its production outcome.

The first phase of the construction is expected to be completed in May 2013, and will allocate 18,580m² for the manufacture of new almond products.The three-phase project will eventually see the facility being scaled up to 46,450m².

The plant is designed to strengthen the company’s consumer brand and ingredient business, and is expected to provide significant returns to the grower-owners of the cooperative over the next 15 years and beyond.

With focussing on automated technologies, the plant is expected to boost yields, reduce handling for additional cost savings, and offer safe environment for the manufacture of almond products.

Blue Diamond president and CEO Mark Jansen said the project will allow the company to expand its value-added product lines.

"It will seal our promise to be THE global almond ingredients and consumer retail market leader so that we can continue to create the healthiest almond products in the world!," Jansen added.

According to the company, the project is the largest single investment in the co-operative’s history, and is a part of its 15-year capacity expansion strategy.

The strategy also includes technological improvements at the company’s existing plant operations in Sacramento and Salida.

Blue Diamond Growers, headquartered in Sacramento, California, is a tree nut processing and marketing cooperative, and engages in processing and marketing almonds in the US and internationally.