Datepac redesigns pallets for trucks

Yuma, Ariz.-based date packer-shipper Datepac LLC is tackling sustainability with a multipronged approach, said
Ed O’Malley, president and chief executive officer.

The company reconfigured pallet patterns to increase pounds per square foot of truck space and added more efficient temperature-controlled facilities, O’Malley said.

“We are also looking at greener packaging for sustainability in 2013,” he said.

Mann Packing program looks at life cycles

Salinas, Calif.-based Mann Packing Co. is focusing on product “life cycles” this year, as part of its sustainability initiative, said Gina Nucci, director of healthy culinary innovations.

“For example, when we harvest romaine lettuce, the outer, sun- and wind-damaged leaves are left in the field and tilled into soil to provide nutrients for sustainability,” Nucci said.

The process harvests only edible leaves, she said.

Mann’s prewashed and consumer-ready romaine leaves have no waste for consumers and are packaged in recyclable containers, Nucci said.

Mann also has come up with ways to cut emissions by reducing its packaging.

SCS Global Services has a new name

Emeryville, Calif.-based SCS Global Services is operating under a new nomenclature, as of last fall.

The company, which focuses on sustainability as well as food safety certification programs for customers worldwide, had been known as Scientific Certification Systems.

“We’ve been a global company for a long time and the global aspect of the service we provide wasn’t clearly delineated in the name,” said Chip Wood, marketing specialist.

Stemilt Growers efforts earns energy award

Winning an award for energy conservation is but one step in an ongoing sustainability program at Wenatchee,
Wash.-based Stemilt Growers LLC, said Roger Pepperl, marketing director for the fruit grower-shipper.

“We’re looking at how operations run on electricity and doing relighting projects constantly, which reduce your amount of electricity immensely,” Pepperl said. “We’re doing a whole lot of them.”

The company says it has cut energy consumption at its largest fruit packing facility by 30% in the past two years.

Water-reduction initiatives are another part of the company’s plan, Pepperl said

Village Farms expands into hydroponic facility

Delta, British Columbia-based hydroponic greenhouse operator Village Farms LP in May opened a new 30-acre glass facility in Monahans, Texas, said Helen Aquino, marketing manager.

The new plant produces tomatoes and cucumbers.

Village Farms based the new house on its proprietary Greenhouse Agriculture Technology Environment System, Aquino said.

It differs from the company’s other vented greenhouses in that it is completely enclosed, Aquino said.