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Blue Diamond Growers Launches USDA Partnerships Program; Dan Sonke Comments

Blue Diamond Growers Launches USDA Partnerships Program; Dan Sonke Comments


SACRAMENTO, CA
Friday, July 28th, 2023

Blue Diamond Growers is digging into the initiative that seems to be on every buyer, supplier, and consumer’s mind as the heat of the summer rises in North America: climate.

The new Blue Diamond USDA Climate-Smart Grant Program encompasses its 3,000 grower-owners, equipping them with resources and incentives to implement climate-smart practices in their orchards. The recently launched program, Blue Diamond Growers said, is a major step in expanding the use of climate-smart practices in almond orchards.

Dan Sonke, Senior Director of Sustainability, Blue Diamond Growers"This is an exciting and unique opportunity for growers outside of the traditional federal, state, and local resources that are typically available to them," Dan Sonke, Senior Director of Sustainability, commented. "We know that cost and technical barriers are the largest hurdles to overcome when implementing climate-smart practices. This project provides resources to accelerate our grower-owners' advances in soil health, biodiversity, and climate-smart agriculture."

The initial launch offers almond growers no-cost seed and a financial incentive for implementing cover crops and/or conservation cover on their land, according to a press release, to work toward sequestering carbon and enhancing biodiversity of orchards. This, in turn, can improve soil health.

The new Blue Diamond USDA Climate-Smart Grant Program encompasses its 3,000 grower-owners, equipping them with resources and incentives to implement climate-smart practices in their orchards

"Not only does this program benefit growers, but food companies and retailers as well," Sonke explained. "Customers can partner with Blue Diamond to support the use of climate-smart practices which benefit the climate, soil health, and orchard biodiversity, and thereby procure almonds with a measured GHG reduction quantification that helps meet their own climate and sustainability targets."

As part of this program, growers will work with civil society technical partners, Pollinator Partnership, and Project Apis m. to implement the various opportunities. To learn more about the program, read the full release here.

Pictured above is an example of the cover crop "Seeds for Bees" program

Blue Diamond Growers will largely begin to implement the grant-related practices across California beginning in October after this year's harvest. Blue Diamond's current Orchard Stewardship Incentive Program (OSIP) has more than 50 percent of its acreage enrolled, with over 15 percent of Blue Diamond's acreage being Bee Friendly Farming (B.F.F.) certified.

As this new rollout seeks to expand these numbers, Deli Market News will report the latest.

Blue Diamond Growers
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