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Carriere Family Farms; A 133-Year Legacy

When the Carriere family bought their first walnut orchard in 1963, there was no telling what the future would look like. The crop was a new commodity, and the market was still unpredictable. Fast forward to today, the Carrieres have found great success in growing and processing California walnuts that are now marketed and sold all throughout the world.

The start of their legacy began 130 years ago with Albini Carriere, who migrated to Northern California from Canada. He began farming rice and row crops in the Sacramento Valley until one of his sons, Herb, started a new venture; walnuts. Today, that venture has grown exponentially by scale and volume. The Carrieres farm hundreds of acres of walnuts and have even vertically integrated by building a revolutionary walnut processing facility.

Walnuts are a long-term investment,” said Bill Carriere, President and CEO of Carriere Family Farms. “Growing walnuts is just the method of what we’re doing to help the community, help our family, help the economy and the world eat healthy.”

Bill is the third generation to work for Carriere Family Farms and says the fourth and fifth generations are now coming on board to join the legacy. While family serves as a key part of their business, the company has always been run on the same three-pronged approach focusing on growers, customers, and employees.

Quality is always top of mind for the Carrieres, and that begins at the farm level. They have high expectations when it comes to growing walnuts, and that includes being good stewards of the land. This is backed by their GLOBAL G.A.P. certification, which guarantees that their farming operation is meeting and exceeding standards.

One of the environmentally conscious practices to complement this certification is their efforts in composting. The Carrieres add a biochar byproduct of the walnut shell back into their soil, which is high in nitrogen, ultimately reducing the additives needed.

We want the ranch to be here for generations to come, so we need to take care of the soil, air, and water and have it available for future generations,” Bill said.

With their customers, the Carrieres make sure the product they are providing goes above and beyond in every way. That’s partly why they decided to vertically integrate into the processing side, so they could carefully monitor the quality of the product from start to finish.

The Carrieres understand it takes an army of people to make their business succeed, and that’s why their 115 employees are a core part of their business. They strive to foster a work environment that promotes longevity, which is why they often promote from within and provide additional perks, like their newest project of adding car charging stations at the workplace so that commuting to and from work can essentially be free.

Retaining employees is one of our goals,” Bill said. “We want a long-term employee to be happy and healthy here.”

The progressive mindset of Carriere Family Farms is one that Golden State Farm Credit admires and is proud to be a part of, ever since the land bank days before Golden State Farm Credit even existed.

Carriere Family Farms has partnered with Golden State Farm Credit to finance a few of their cutting-edge projects including solar panels that offset a substantial amount of their power usage, and most recently, the expansion which encompasses the new state-of-the-art processing facility.

Unveiled in September 2022, the expansion has resulted in an overall 200% increase in their walnut processing facilities. They’ve also been able to increase their shelling capacity by over 500%, unload 200% faster at their receiving station, increase their packing line capacity by 200%, and increase their loading dock efficiency by 150%.

While Carriere Family Farms have become quite the industry leaders in the walnut space, they’ve remained true to their family’s morals and values that played such an important role from the start, while still improving their operation to become more efficient, sustainable, and future-forward. That’s why Golden State Farm Credit is proud to partner with them every step of the way.

Golden State Farm Credit shares the same vision as we do of sustainability and farming as a long-term valuable asset to the community in Northern California, especially,” Bill said. “They are investing in our future and in the future of agriculture.