Although Atlas World Food and Agriculture is a new name in the edible nut and orchard industry, the company is built on one of the most established companies in the San Joaquin Valley of California- Blain Farms.
The Blain family was one of the first settlers in California, having arrived in Visalia in 1867. Although the first Blains were primarily cattlemen, the last three generations have grown tree nuts, specializing in walnuts and pecans. The Blain’s first pecan orchard, which also happened to be the first in the state, was planted in 1975. Since then, Blain has grown into the largest grower and processor of pecans in California.
Albert F. Blain and his son, Brian, organized Blain Farms as a pecan growing operation. Blain Farms continues to be managed and operated by Brian’s two sons, daughter and nephew. Brian designed and built the first pecan shelling facility in California in 1983. In 1998, Brian, and son Brody, built their first pecan shelling facility in Visalia. The facility processes over 80% of all the pecans grown in California and ships all over the world.
Very few pecans are both grown and processed by the same people. The Blain’s are one of the few ‘Grower-Shellers’ who control the quality of pecans all year long, until they are harvested, shelled and delivered to customers.
Blain Farms separated their walnut and pecan operations, creating Atlas Walnuts in 2008 and Pacific Pecans in 2009. In 2011, the three established California food processing companies, under one common ownership and management, combined to form AWFA.
Today, AWFA is a vertically integrated food processing and related farming enterprise that processes, stores, packages, purchases, markets, sells, exports and grows walnuts, pecans and other edible nuts and products.