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Apr 28, 2021
Blue Diamond Growers names new director of sustainability

Sacramento, California-based Blue Diamond Growers has named Daniel Sonke as its new director of sustainability.

In this role, Sonke will lead global sustainability efforts across all segments of the Blue Diamond Growers business. He will be responsible for integrating company performance with the 111-year-old almond cooperative’s sustainability pillars of economic viability, environmental stewardship, and community well-being.

According to a news release, with deep roots in the California almond industry, Sonke grew up on his family’s almond farm near Ripon. He holds a cutting-edge, advanced professional degree – Doctorate of Plant Medicine – from the University of Florida.

Sonke most recently led corporate sustainable agriculture programs for Campbell Soup Co. as director of sustainable agriculture. Additionally, throughout his career, he has led numerous efforts to advance science-based sustainability efforts and certification programs for multiple agricultural commodities, including almonds, hazelnuts, pears, mushrooms, peaches, plums, nectarines, citrus, potatoes, winegrapes, and tomatoes.

Daniel Sonke

Sonke currently serves as a member of the Almond Board of California’s Sustainability Working Group. “We are thrilled to have someone of Sonke’s caliber join the Blue Diamond Growers team to lead the cooperative’s sustainability efforts,” said Brian Barczak, senior vice president, global supply for Blue Diamond Growers. “With his world-class expertise, deep scientific background, and hands-on experience with a variety of industries, he will be pivotal in further advancing our critical sustainability mission.”

Blue Diamond Growers has a long-time commitment to sustainability and was recently recognized as Green Business Certified by the Modesto Chamber of Commerce’s California Green Business Network, Stanislaus County Program. The Green Business Certified recognition goes to companies that achieve a verified set of standards, including reducing water use, conserving energy, preventing pollution, increasing recycling, avoiding waste, encouraging alternative transportation, and partnering with other local vendors.

“Our latest sustainability recognition as Green Business Certified is an important milestone along Blue Diamond Growers sustainability journey,” said Barczak. “It is a path of continual progress that will no doubt be enhanced with Dr. Sonke’s leadership and skill.”

About Blue Diamond Blue Diamond Growers, a grower-owned cooperative representing over 3,000 of California’s almond growers, is a leading almond marketer and processor. Established in 1910, it created the California almond industry and opened world markets for almonds.

Blue Diamond is dedicated to delivering the benefits of almonds around the world and does so by providing high-quality almonds, almond ingredients and branded products. Headquartered in Sacramento, the company employs more than 1,800 people throughout its processing plants, receiving stations and gift shops.

To learn more about Blue Diamond Growers, visit here.

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