FRESNO, CALIF. - The produce and nut supplier the Wonderful Company challenged permits that would allow the expansion of Touchstone’s Terra Bella ARO pistachio processing facility, but the Tulare County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to uphold the permits.
Wonderful Company founder Stewart Resnick objected to the expansion of Touchstone’s plant, citing it needed a lengthy environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act. But after the chairman of the county board noted an overwhelming support for the expansion of the plant in the farming community, the board voted to uphold the project.
The board noted that the permit request for the Terra Bella plant mirrored similar permits granted in the past, including permits issued to the Wonderful Company.
“Without the balanced hand of the Board of Supervisors, the pistachio industry in this region would suffer a grave setback,” said Mark Sherrell, chief of plant operations for Touchstone Pistachio Company. “We’re grateful that the Board rejected Mr. Resnick’s attempt to dictate how the county interprets its own ordinances. We look forward to completing the expanded processing facility.”
The expanded facility will employ nearly 130 full time workers and will be able to process 50 million pounds of locally grown pistachios.