GHQ FOCUS ON FRESH
efficient infrastructure can provide practical solutions.
Also, sustainability means different
things to different people. For example,
while some might consider organics a sus-
tainable solution, in many cases organic
farming requires more resources to produce
the same amount of food as conventional.
While this might be an acceptable price to
pay for a consumer in an affluent society of
the U.S., it could be detrimental to lower
income people in many other countries.
The industry needs to find a way to responsibly balance the interest of all stakeholders.
Lutz: In the case of producing apples, you have to
think about sustainable agriculture because you need
the tree to produce apples for 15 or 20 years and to
produce apples well. It is really inherent in how we
go about our production practices. There are all sorts
of issues that come into play relative to sustainability. How do you conserve water without starving the
tree? How do you get ample fertilizer and nutrients
to the tree without over fertilizing and creating negative situations for runoff? In the warehouse, how
do you handle the water you are using to reduce the
water runoff? Those are small issues that the growers and individual warehouse are dealing with on a
Brinkley: Growing produce requires precious
resources and has an impact on the environment. It
is our mission to minimalize our individual impact
and still provide top-quality produce, so we continually incorporate new techniques and methods whenever and wherever possible.
What can the industry expect regarding
sustainability in the future?
Visconti: Sustainability will drive the direction of
packaging innovation, material handling, operational design and functionality. Greenhouses
will become more efficient in the reuse of natural
resources and self-sustaining operations. In addition,
the industry will evolve to operations, which have
lower impact on the environment, but deliver more
efficient ways of working. Combining this approach
with packaging innovation, we as greenhouse growers will be held accountable to deliver high quality
produce from a reduced carbon footprint.
Myers: The certification process will continue to
become more robust. With content delivery over
digital platforms, more retailers will tell their story
and identify specific suppliers as examples. The story
will become more personalized from a consumer