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Diamond Acquires Berner Nut Co.

September 13, 2000|ASSOCIATED PRESS

Diamond of California, the world's largest processor of walnuts, has acquired Illinois-based Berner Nut Co.

Diamond said the acquisition makes it the nation's sales leader in consumer in-shell nuts.

Berner has plants in Lemont, Ill., and Robertsdale, Ala. Diamond expects the company to have $47 million in revenue this fiscal year.

Since it began selling nuts in 1934, Berner has become the nation's largest purchaser of Brazil nuts, which grow wild in the rain forests of South America.

In addition to buying 6 million pounds of Brazil nuts annually, the company buys pecans from the southeastern United States, hazelnuts from Oregon, and walnuts and almonds from California.

Diamond, based in Stockton, is a cooperative of 2,000 farmers who together produce half the walnuts grown commercially in the United States. Its 400 full-time employees operate the world's largest walnut-processing and packaging plant at Stockton.

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