Zeal-labeled navel and cara cara oranges are in the spotlight at the more than 200 Hy-Vee Food Stores Inc. markets in the Midwest as the company conducts its annual citrus sale contest among produce managers.
“For the first time, we are using the contest as an opportunity to showcase our commitment to sustainable agriculture by offering our customers a quality product grown under strict environmental and social standards,” Ron Coles, assistant vice president of produce purchasing for the West Des Moines, Iowa-based chain, said in a news release.
The oranges and cara caras — 45 truckloads of them — were supplied by Sunwest Fruit Co. Inc., Parlier, Calif. Sunwest’s Zeal-labeled fruit is grown under strict production standards established and audited by Protected Harvest, Soquel, Calif., a third-party certification agency, said Doug Sankey, Sunwest’s marketing manager.
“So many customers have asked about sustainability, but Hy-Vee is walking the talk by supplying their customers with high quality fruit grown with care for the environment,” he said. “It is more than a buy-sell relationship.”
Sunwest began the Protected Harvest program in 2008 and launched the Zeal label the same year.