El Dorado Almonds grew from an idea to reality
Growers work together to achieve common goals
El Dorado Almonds became a Friends of the Family Farm sponsor in 2011 after the company partners collaboratively decided that they wanted to further the cause of Farm Bureau.
“We are supportive of Farm Bureau and what it does,” said El Dorado Almonds partner Scott Eastom. “We wanted to back the causes of the organization.”
El Dorado Almonds is a grower-owned company. The partners are each actively involved in the agricultural industry and located in west Fresno and Madera counties. The six owners include DV Farms, Errotabere Ranches, Eagle Creek Farms, Terra Linda Farms, Coelho West Farming and Scott Eastom. Eastom also serves as the chief marketer for the company, bringing many years of prior experience to his position and providing the know-how to market the finished product worldwide.
El Dorado Almonds grew from an idea. The company partners had the desire to make their businesses more valuable. The company was formed in 2010, making this dream a reality. By August 2011, El Dorado Almonds started its first season – 20 million pounds of almonds were processed.
The owners began El Dorado Almonds with several goals in mind. The first was to further vertically integrate their businesses. “With the changing times, the further vertically integrated, the better, both financially and for the longevity of the business,” said Eastom. Vertical integration guards food quality and allows the farmers to track food from its origin on the farm to their customers.
The second goal was to produce products that each grower could be proud of and be able to market to the world, while at the same time always promoting California agriculture.
Finally, El Dorado Almonds is a way for the company to give back to the community. Seasonally, the company employs up to 50 individuals.
Once the almonds are harvested, each of the partners sends them to individual huller-shellers. After which, their products are transported to the Madera grower-owned processing facility. Once they arrive in Madera, the almonds are sized, sorted, graded and packed. El Dorado Almonds specializes in both bulk domestic and export sales. The finished product is sent to buyers throughout the world.
“We’ve created relationships with people all over the world who want California products,” said Eastom. “It really makes us proud that we have created a brand that buyers all over the world recognize and enjoy, while at the same time promoting California Agriculture.”
El Dorado Almonds is not unique as a processing facility goes in any form, explained Eastom. However, the company is distinctive because it grew as a collaborative effort of a group of like-minded individuals with the same goals in mind.
“El Dorado Almonds is more of a story of six individuals who opened an almond processing plant,” said Eastom. “It’s a testament to California agriculture – a group of growers who take pride in what they do and want to market their product.”
It gives the growers a sense of pride to be involved in the process from start to finish. “It’s unique that we live in a place that we are able to grow what we do and be able to market the product the whole way through,” said Eastom.
Friends of the Family Farm Spotlight Profile: Ag Today, Feb 12
By: Katie Rodgers