Horizon Nut breaks ground on new processing plant

Horizon Nut Company is busy adding new processing capacity in California's San Joaquin Valley.

Late last year the company broke ground on a new processing facility near Firebaugh in western Fresno County. The facility will start with a 15-million-pound processing capacity with designs to increase capacity to 60 million pounds.

At full build-out that will give Horizon Nut owners processing capacity in excess of 100 million pounds from facilities that include Tulare and Lost Hills.

The plant is projected to employ 175 people full time and another 300 part time in a region beset by severe unemployment because of a lack of farm water and the retiring of tens of thousands of acres of agricultural farmland.

Pistachio production in 2014 topped 500 million pounds in the United States and is projected to reach one billion pounds sometime within the next 10 years.

Horizon Nut Company is privately owned.

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