Greener Fields Together trumpets sustainability gains

06/26/2013 04:08:00 PM
Tom Karst

Less than a year after launching the Greener Fields Together sustainability and local produce initiative, Monterey, Calif.-based Pro*Act has four case studies outlining suppliers’ specific sustainability gains.

The case studies are available at www.greenerfieldstogether.org. Evaluations include details of the progress achieved by Sunkist Growers Inc., NewStar Fresh Foods, Taylor Farms California Inc and Naturipe, according to a news release.

“We’re proud to share independently verified progress being made by our Greener Fields Together national farm partners,” Max Yeater, president of Pro*Act, said in the release. “Together, we will continue to track and celebrate the role they’re playing in creating a more environmentally friendly, sustainable produce supply chain.”

The case studies show:

 

  • Sunkist received Sustainable Forestry Initiative certification in 2012 for efforts to reduce packaging’s effect on the environment at its Ontario, Calif., manufacturing plant, according to the release. Sunkist sourced 100% Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified materials, and also uses water-based ink and corn-based adhesives to produce cartons. u NewStar Fresh Foods has put in place a water conservation program at its Mexicali, Mexico operations. About 600 of 2,000 acres have been converted to drip irrigation, with the expectation that drip-irrigated acreage will use 50% less water per carton, according to the release.
  • Taylor Farms California Inc. has made upgrades to its refrigeration and lighting systems, for an annual energy savings of 1.74 million kilowatts, according to the release. So far the company has achieved a 110% reduction in total energy consumption, according to the release.
  • Naturipe has used Integrated Pest Management to control Lygus bug, a major pest for California strawberries, according to the release. The program results in less resistance problems and results in reduced overall pesticide use, according to the release.

 

Greener Fields Together, which began in October 2012, is an effort by farmers, distributors, retail locations and foodservice operators to make ongoing and measurable improvements in sustainability and food safety practices.



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