Celebrating the 46th Annual Earth Day: Limoneira's John Chamberlain, California Giant Berry Farms' Cindy Jewell, and Houweling's David Bell Discuss the Importance of Sustainability

Fri. April 22nd, 2016 - by Melissa De Leon Chavez

EARTH - What began as a kick-start for sustainability has skyrocketed into a 46-year-long movement, drawing eyes to the earth, and the industry that cultivates it. Happy Earth Day!

The celebration, which kicked off in 1970, has made April 22nd a day to promote the strides of retailers and growers alike and to recognize and share their key sustainability initiatives, commuity engagement, and education.

On the growing side, companies like Limoneira, California Giant Berry Farms, and Houweling’s Tomatoes look to incorporate sustainability in every practice.

John Chamberlain, Director of Markeing, Limoneira“Limoneira has been growing sustainably for 122 years, even before the term “sustainability” was coined,” John Chamberlain, the company’s Director of Marketing, shares with me. “We use solar energy to run operations, employ comprehensive water management practices, have a green waste partnership to create mulch for healthier lemon rootstock, use integrated pest management, and are one of the largest providers of farm worker housing in California.”

Cindy Jewell, Vice President of Marketing for California Giant, tells me that in everything the company does, from drip irrigation, to crop protection tools, to even recycling paper, comes back to a drive to be as sustainable as possible.

When it comes to why this is an initiative everyone in the produce industry should take up, Cindy puts it best. “The bottom line is that we are all responsible for being stewards of the land. Farming and agriculture in California is here for the long haul and we have to ensure that we continue to nurture that.”

David Bell, Chief Marketing Officer, Houweling's TomatoesAnd April 22nd provides us with the opportunity to remember that, as Houweling’s Tomatoes’ Chief Marketing Officer, David Bell, tells me, “Earth Day drives awareness on sustainability and the little things we all can do to lessen our impact. The key to impacting lasting change as citizens of Earth, is to live and breathe these little things every day, every month, every year.”

In the retail segment, Earth Day awareness is also spreading fast, with Kroger holding several events today to celebrate cultivating and caring for the land we work with.

"At Kroger, sustainability reflects our heartfelt commitment to our planet, our community, and our people," Jessica Adelman, Kroger's Group Vice President of Corporate Affairs, said in a press release. "Every day in our stores, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and offices, we strive to make a positive difference. We look forward to sharing our commitment with our local community and helping our loyal customers find ways they can make small changes that add up to a big difference."

To draw attention to the day celebrating sustainable practices, the retailer will highlight its ongoing sustainability efforts through multiple in-store practices, including:

  • Garden burger samplings incorporating organics
  • In-store “meet the farmer” events
  • Signage highlighting sustainable areas in grocery, with departments including produce, floral, and dairy

Food Lion also maintains commitment to the cause today through its Food Lion Feeds program, which the company says has committed to provide 500 million meals to individuals and families in need by the end of 2020.

These two retailers are among a growing number that emphasize what John tells me about how vital this initiative is becoming in all areas of produce.

“Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to our grocery and foodservice partners, and it’s the right thing to do. We appreciate the work that ANUK does for our industry and you can find easy-peezy, lemon squeezy sustainability tips for Earth Day here,” John tells me.

From all of us here at AndNowUKnow, Happy Earth Day!

Limoneira California Giant Berry Farms Houweling's Tomatoes Kroger Food Lion