Each link of this multifaceted industry should be proud of the efforts employed to move fresh fruit and vegetables from the farm, across the country, and into stores while maintaining the level of quality and freshness that is the envy of the world.
The Sustainability Guide and Self-Assessment tool was not designed to appease the activists nor those who differentiate themselves by denigrating others. It was designed to tell a story about an industry committed to environmental sustainability. It was designed to show that our great industry is more than conscientious about environmental concerns. The produce industry walks the talk.
It’s a tool that deserves reconsideration by industry members. It’s a pathway that if followed will create its own noise because the story is both fascinating and illuminating. I believe we should work together to create that noise and not remain silent as others challenge our innovative and successful practices. The collective effort of our industry to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to dinner tables around the world is a story worth telling.
Joel Nelsen is president and chief executive officer of California Citrus Mutual, a voluntary trade association that represents the interest of California’s citrus growers.