Greener Fields evaluates firms’ habits - The Packer

Greener Fields evaluates firms’ habits

07/11/2014 11:32:00 AM
Chelsea Mies

Greener Fields Together, the sustainability and local produce initiative created by Monterey, Calif.-based Pro*Act, had two of its national farm partners complete an independent evaluation of their social and environmental achievements.

Greener Fields Together worked with SureHarvest, an independent verification service, to find and document ongoing sustainability improvements in the produce supply chain, according to a news release.

The two found that Rainier Fruit Co. and Naturipe have made notable improvements toward sustainability.

Melanie Beretti, director of business development for SureHarvest, said the program is a total supply chain sustainability program.

“SureHarvest is partnering with the Greener Fields program to move toward an online self-assessment where all suppliers can assess their own operations and see how they are doing compared to others anonymously,” Beretti said.

Selah, Wash.-based Rainier Fruit Co. has focused on employee wellness in Selah since 2000. Its Good Stewardship Program is aimed at creating a healthier workplace, reducing the cost of health care, reducing the number of safety incidents and retaining highly engaged employees, according to the release.

As part of that, Rainier created a corporate wellness team and launched wellness initiatives that include an on-site medical clinic, annual flu shots for employees and an annual Wellness Day, among others.

Naturipe has a water management program at its California blueberry facility.

The company implemented a variety of practices to help improve its 100% drip irrigation system’s efficiency.

It added irrigation management software that helps with scheduling, monitoring, measuring and verifying optimal amounts to water to apply, as well as water treatments that ensure water flow and food safety, according to the release.

All of the company’s practices are resulting in increased yields and higher product quality, while also reducing the cost of water.



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