The Ag Council of California recently celebrated Mark Jansen as the 2023 California Cultivator Award recipient on March 30, 2023, during the association’s 104th Annual Meeting in Monterey.
Mark Jansen served as president and chief executive officer of Blue Diamond Growers for 12 years and is CEO emeritus. Mark led Blue Diamond in transforming the cooperative into an industry-leading global branded food manufacturer and marketer with his leadership focus on innovation, safety, quality, and strategic growth. With a vision on long-term growth, Mark introduced the capabilities and fostered partnerships around the globe to build the Almond Breeze® portfolio, which is now the world’s leading almondmilk brand.
Over his tenure, Mark grew revenue by 9.4 percent CAGR and improved profit returns to the co-op’s almond grower-owners by 2,000 percent. In 2021, Mark was honored as one of the Sacramento region’s most admired CEOs.
Blue Diamond’s Board of Directors Chair Dan Cummings said, “Mark has earned the respect and admiration of our grower-owners with his personable style and engagement in the industry.” Dan added, “His contributions have poised us for future growth and success.”
Among his accomplishments, Mark served as chair of the California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, as well as chair of the organization’s International Forum and chair of its Audit Committee. His service also includes: the Board of Trustees for the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council, chair of the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership, and previous vice chair of the Almond Board of California.
“I have great respect and admiration for Mark as a leader who is passionate about the cooperative values,” California Department of Food & Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross said. “These values are the guiding principles of a successful business, and with Mark’s leadership, Blue Diamond has served its grower members with added value and integrity to be a respected global leader.”
Ag Council President Emily Rooney said, “We are pleased to honor Mark with this special award. Mark’s leadership and commitment to the betterment of Blue Diamond are unparalleled. We know his efforts will have positive outcomes for the cooperative for many years and thanks to him – as Mark himself would say – ‘the best is yet to come.’”
As background, the California Cultivator Award recognizes and honors a person who clearly has made significant contributions to agriculture or who has demonstrated leadership and personal commitment beyond the normal expectations of a person serving the farmer-owned business sector.
Congratulations to Mark Jansen upon being selected to receive this distinctive award.