Posts Tagged ‘Big Tree Co-operative’




Big Tree Almonds, located in the Central San Joaquin Valley, is the only organic almond co-operative in the state of California—the only state in the U.S. where the nuts are grown. The co-operative is Equal Exchange’s first trading partner for organic almonds.

From the Equal Exchange website: The farmers who would one day form Big Tree Organic Farms Co-op were pioneers in organic almond farming in California. They had been working since the 1980s to convert their farms to more ecologically sound practices. But in 1997, they found themselves with a bumper crop and no processors in the area who would handle organic almonds.

What could they do? Like family farmers elsewhere, they decided to organize themselves. In 1998 they established their co-op, and in 2003 they opened their own processing facility so that they could shell, store and market their almonds.

Today, Big Tree is a co-operative of 28 members whose farms range between 11 and 150 acres. Seasonal workers in the shelling plant receive above minimum wage and most return to work in the facility year after year. All of Big Tree’s almonds, including Nonpareil, Carmel and Mission varieties, are grown organically. And as consumer awareness of the health benefits of almonds continues to grow, the members of Big Tree are growing their co-operative.

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