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Campbell Soup Sells Macadamia Farm to Blue Diamond Growers

May 01, 2000|From Associated Press

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — The world's largest grower of macadamia nuts has changed hands.

Campbell Soup Co. said Friday that it has sold MacFarms of Hawaii to Blue Diamond Growers, a cooperative owned by California nut producers, for an undisclosed price.

The sale includes 3,900 acres of macadamia orchards and a processing plant in South Kona on the island of Hawaii. MacFarms also buys nuts from 600 independent growers.

MacFarms President Rick Vidgen said the deal makes sense because Sacramento-based Blue Diamond is an agricultural company, whereas Campbell Soup is a manufacturer.

Blue Diamond represents nearly 4,000 growers and has had a distribution pact with MacFarms for 20 years, Vidgen said.

The cooperative is the world's largest tree nut company, marketing almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and macadamia nuts to nearly 100 global markets, Blue Diamond and Campbell Soup officials said.

Vidgen said the sale will not affect MacFarms' 250 employees, most of whom are seasonal workers.

MacFarms reported sales of $30 million in the fiscal year that ended in July.

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