“I think you’re going to see a lot more of it,” he said. “This is the direction we’re going to have to go because of the volatility in the energy markets.”
The question remains whether buyers will be enthusiastic about partnering with growers who go to such lengths to adopt a sustainable model.
“There’s a lot of talk about that,” Houweling said, “but I don’t think it’s gone beyond talk with 90 percent of retailers. There are some that are starting to take sustainability seriously, but we have a long way to go.”
Houweling, whose product is marketed by the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Oppenheimer Group, said his company has not yet decided how to take its eco-friendly message to consumers.
“There’s more we should be doing,” he said. “We haven’t done much PR work. We’re going to try to promote it a lot more, especially here in Southern California.”