Buyers seek organic, sustainable options

05/03/2013 11:14:00 AM
Tom Burfield

Sustainability continues to be a major topic of interest among retailers, said Mike Aiton, director of marketing for Prime Time International, Coachella, Calif.

When he gets a memo from a buyer or potential buyer asking about the company’s sustainability program, Aiton sends out a copy of a documentation sheet that lists the ways in which Prime Time International is sustainable.

It tells, for example, how the company conserves water, recycles materials and uses solar energy in its packinghouse and pumping stations.

Likewise, Peter Rabbit Farms in Coachella is “very conscientious about sustainability,” said John Burton, general manager of sales and cooler.

The company pays close attention to sustainability in the crops it grows, the way the ground is maintained and in the rotation of its crops, he said.

Peter Rabbit Farms has been around since 1950, he said.

“I think people trust the name and trust the brand,” he said.

“People want to deal with companies that they know they are going to deal with today, tomorrow and down the road.”

Growing sustainably is “a huge concern” at Five Crowns Marketing, Van Dyke said.

“That is definitely something that is on the forefront.”

The company’s retail customers ask about the firm’s sustainability program, he said. The company has implemented a solar energy system to help conserve energy and protect the environment.

When buyers ask De Klotz about sustainability at Bagdasarian and Pasha Marketing, he points out, among other things, that the company recently completed a 650,000 kilowatt solar plant at its packinghouse.

“It will fill the majority of our electricity needs,” he said.


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