29 Mar Growers find processing services at Horizon without joining co-op
(Tulare, CA) It surprises some pistachio growers to learn that they can sell nuts to Horizon Nut Company without joining the ownership group. That’s because Horizon gained its fame as a grower-owned processing facility that gives hands-on control to pistachio farmers throughout central and northern California. Members of the Horizon Growers Cooperative banded together to create the plant to serve its members’ needs in 2007. The service doesn’t stop there though, as the processing facility also accepts pistachios from growers who choose not to buy into the group.
It is a more traditional way to do business for pistachio growers, even if they pass on some of the benefits of ownership.
“There are a lot of real reasons growers choose to do this,” said Kirk Squire, Horizon’s Grower Relations Manager. “Smaller growers, growers nearing retirement, even growers trying to cut debt – we’ll buy their nuts right out of the field and they can enjoy the same relationship with us that they’d have with any other processor. They just know that they are working with other growers who understand their needs.”
Squire does point out that size shouldn’t stop growers from joining.
“Honestly,” he said, “…if you come in with 40 acres you’ll be treated the same and have the same advantages as our largest producing members.”
Squire works closely with interested growers to help them determine their best options. He travels throughout the state visiting pistachio orchards and talking with owners about Horizon. The grower-owned company runs three processing plants in California and has created a very large ceiling for growth, ensuring the necessary capacity to bring in additional pounds.
“We’re growing and ready to grow more,” Squire said. “It’s an exciting time for this crop, and we are more than ready to serve growers where they’re at, to meet whatever needs they have.”
Kirk Squire can be reached at (559) 360-5165, or through his contact page here.