( Courtesy Tall Poppy Photography )

Here's the latest strawberry news from The Packer!

Sun Belle facility completes first of two solar energy projects

Sun Belle Inc. has installed a roof-top solar energy system at its Maryland distribution center, with the capacity to offset more than 35% of its energy needs.

The 450 kW solar array system at the 64,000-square-foot Jessup, Md., center covers 33,500 square feet of the roof area, generating enough energy to power 48 homes, according to a news release. It was installed by Aurora Energy Inc., Columbia, Md.

“Due to our constant refrigeration demands, we sought a solution that would offset rising utility costs and make a positive environmental impact,” Janice Honigberg, president of Sun Belle Inc., said in the release. “Aurora Energy offered a perfect solution for us with the added benefit of being able to utilize land adjacent to our facility as a pollinator meadow.”


Naturipe adds recycle label on packaging

Naturipe Farms has taken a big step forward in its commitment to sustainability.

The Salinas, Calif.-based berry grower is adding the How2Recycle label on packaging to help ensure that consumers properly recycle, said Janis McIntosh, director of marketing innovation and sustainability.

All Naturipe products, including organic and conventional strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and avocados eventually will include the How2Recycle logo in the design, she said.

California Giant received TRUE Zero Waste certification

The corporate headquarters of California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville, Calif., has received Gold under the TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Zero Waste certification program.

The Gold certification recognizes the company’s diversion of 91% of its office waste from landfill and other waste outlets in the past year.

TRUE, administered by Green Business Certification Inc., validates businesses’ efforts to define, pursue and achieve zero-waste goals, according to the release. With TRUE’s approach and guidance from Measure to Improve LLC, California Giant implemented permanent improvements to reduce use of materials encourage reuse and recycling.