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Sustainability

woman picking strawberries

We believe that "giving back" isn't just about philanthropy. To us, it's about protecting the land on which we grow our berries so that we will continue to have viable farming for generations to come. It's about caring for people, both within our company and our communities. Follow us as we unfold our sustainability journey!

Our 3 Pillars of Sustainability

Click above to explore our 3 pillars of sustainability.
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kids having fun

People

Quality of life is more than overall well-being, it's about nourishing our communities, our employees, and our bodies. That's why we value education, community development, employee welfare while nurturing what we grow in the soil.

bee on a plant

Planet

We take our responsibility to Earth very seriously. We continuously challenge ourselves as a company to find the best ways to reduce water usage, improve air quality, and respect local ecosystems. Recycling and reducing our plastic waste consumption is one of our top priorities. From our company to your table, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and making our planet as sweet as our berries.

handful of raspberries

Product

Our berries are just as important to us as they are to you – that's why we take every step of the berry life cycle with the utmost care. We invest in state of the art technologies that help to preserve the environment and the berry taste that we all love. Our berries are hand harvested and packed directly in the field, then quickly cooled to ensure that you get the freshest berries!

Sustainability is a Journey, Not a Destination.

What does it mean to be TRUE Zero Waste certified?

TRUE certified spaces cut greenhouse gases, manage risk, reduce litter and pollution, reinvest resources locally, create jobs and add more value for their company and community.

California Giant must reach 90% or greater overall redirection or diversion from landfill, incineration (waste-to-energy) and the environment for solid, non-hazardous wastes. These materials must be reduced, reused, recycled, composted and/or recovered for productive use.

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Here is where we stand today on our journey to becoming

TRUE Zero Waste certified:

50% Contamination Free

We have introduced recycle, food waste, and landfill bins to minimize cross-contamination. Plus, we’ve put up informative waste disposal posters all around the office as regular reminders for our team.

75% Contamination Free

In our first audit we achieved 76% contamination free, but we knew we could do more! So, in our second audit we achieved 95% contamination free – demonstrating the involvement and dedication from all of our staff.

50% Diversion Rate

RECYCLE: By separating waste into the appropriate containers, we were able to reach the 55% Diversion Rate goal. In just 3 months we came a long way!

75% Diversion Rate

REDUCE: We were able to achieve this goal by reducing plastic cups/cutlery at the office, converting our hauling containers to be more efficient, and by becoming a paperless company.

90% Diversion Rate

REUSE: One of the major milestones in this achieved is the donation of food and office supplies to local organizations for reuse. We’re working hard to reach this goal. In fact, we regularly showcase ‘Sustainability’ slides at our office to excite staff and guests around our journey towards TRUE Zero Waste Certification.

Achieve Zero Waste Certification

Bee Better Certification™

Without bees, growing berries just would not be! Bees pollinate many of our favorite fresh foods, like blueberries, and their habitats are facing threats in the United States. Some of California Giant's farming partners are taking bee health to the next level with the Bee Better Certification. These farmers are committed to conserving and expanding the important role bees and other pollinators play in the supply chain. Look for the "Bee Better" certified seal on your berries to know that a happy bee has touched each and every one of them!

Here are several ways we practice sustainability...

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We pack your berries in 100% recyclable clamshell containers! Our corrugated shipping containers are also 100% recyclable.

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We're committed to producing organically grown berries for our customers who prefer them. Look for our green label and USDA seal to indicate organically grown berries at your local store.

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…a long name for minimized pesticides! Our farmers control pest damage first by working with nature, frequently relying on natural pest enemies (predator mites), pest resistant varieties through improved breeding practices, pest monitoring to prevent infestation, cultural practices and other methods to minimize the need for pesticides.

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Drip irrigation allows us to deliver only the necessary amounts of water and nutrients to our crops. Soil health is critical to ensure a healthy plant and a high quality, flavorful crop. So, crop rotation and composting are essential parts of our agricultural practices.

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We practice forward distribution of product and consolidation to reduce food miles on the road. We also have new and innovative cooling systems to reduce energy usage at our cooling facilities.

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Our corporate offices became paperless in 2018 as part of a recycling program with the goals of also to becoming a Zero Waste company by 2020.

Our Sustainability Journey

Follow us as we unfold our sustainability journey over the next several months. We are committed to becoming sustainably certified and are working on several fronts:

On Our Farms:

We're building a program addressing waste reduction, materials management, social accountability, and energy and water usage.

field of raspberry bushes

At Our Cooling Facility:

We're assessing energy usage and efficiencies, and exploring renewable energy opportunities for the future.

California Giant worker standing next to boxes of produce

In Our Corporate Office:

We're becoming a paperless office and incorporating a recycling program with a goal of becoming zero-waste by 2020. Meet the Green Team, who keeps us accountable in our mission to becoming 100% zero-waste!

California Giant workers having a meeting
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Ask Us Anything

Why do you use plastic packaging that is not recyclable or biodegradable?

All of our berry clamshells are recyclable, but they are not getting properly recycled due to the decreasing demand in the world market for them. As other industries and countries step away from purchasing plastic for recycling, many plastic items in the US are unfortunately being thrown back into landfills by the recycling companies because they can't sell it.

In response to this, we are participating in a task force with government agencies and environmental organizations to work on a solution. We are also testing a new label that will easily come off of our packages to make our plastic more mainstream recyclable (like water bottles) so we can ensure that they are indeed being recycled.

Thank you for your concern for the environment - we are concerned too, and working toward a solution in the future.

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