Rainier Fruit Company Anticipates Bee Better Certification
- by Anne Allen
SELAH, WA - Picking blueberries might not be what every consumer is doing nowadays, but they can certainly "pick" them at the grocery store. Rainier Fruit Company is making consumers proud to put its blueberries in their baskets by announcing its 100 percent organic blueberry operation is on track to earn the title of Bee Better Certified™ in July of 2020.
“Rainier Fruit has been family-owned and operated for five generations and it goes without saying that we would like to last another five,” stated Mark Zirkle, President of Rainier Fruit Company, in a press release. “The need to sustain our fields and pollinators is crucial to that goal, which makes involvement in programs like Bee Better Certified a natural choice, as well as an exciting one.”
Alongside the Xerces Society, the 100 percent family-owned and operated blueberry grower planted nearly 150 acres of wildflowers amongst multiple ranches over the last three years in an effort to help attract, protect, and sustain native pollinators in their fields.
“It’s pretty simple; if we don’t protect the bees, we don’t have fruit to sell,” said Tyler Johnson, Rainier’s Blueberry Commodity Manager. “The Bee Better Certified seal also gives today’s source-conscious shoppers confidence that their purchasing decisions are benefiting pollinators and conservation-minded companies. This certification will not only cover our blueberries but also expand to include other crops in our portfolio as well. We’re looking forward to another exciting and innovating blueberry season as we work toward multiple certifications, integrate new genetics into our program, and take our 2020 organic blueberry crop from June through September for another season.”
One such way that The Xerces’ program helps the environment is by creating habitats to protect wild pollinators.
“By building new habitats and limiting threats, such as pesticides, the team at Rainier Fruit is creating resilient farming systems that benefit pollinators and many other beneficial insects they rely on,” said Cameron Newell, Bee Better Certified Program Coordinator. “We are proud of the habitat work that Rainier has done across many of their ranches and we are excited to see them embrace Bee Better Certified.”
Keep reading AndNowUKnow for how our industry is looking to innovate its categories.