Ontario-based greenhouse grower NatureFresh Farms said it has been increasingly looking towards growing and shipping its produce more sustainably. The company sees this as a critical step moving forward and believes more consumers are also looking to companies to demonstrate these values. A big part of this is packaging, a category that has been increasingly in the spotlight now that a greater amount of produce is presented in packaging rather than bulk. In response to this, NatureFresh Farms recently introduced a new compostable tray.
"Sustainable packaging is still something that is leading the conversations at NatureFresh Farms," said Kara Badder of NatureFresh Farms. "Sustainability is at the forefront in all we do, whether it be removing plastic water bottles from our office, sustainable growing practices or sustainable packaging – we want to find ways to help the environment. Our new compostable tray can decompose within 60-90 days of being thrown in someone’s backyard. This tray is currently being used for cucumbers and bell peppers, however, we are also working towards using only recyclable plastics moving forward for our bagged produce as well."
Organic availability is increasing
As summer approaches, NatureFresh Farms is in full production in its Canadian facilities. The company has just started planting in their new 32 acre greenhouse in Ontario which will enable year-round production. Another area of growth for the company is organics, where it has also worked to increase availability.
"We are currently in full production with a wide variety of tomatoes, peppers & cucumbers," Badder shared. "Additionally, we recently planted tomatoes in our new 32 acre greenhouse, which will allow us to grow tomatoes year-round in Ontario beginning this fall. With the demand for organics increasing, NatureFresh Farms is expanding our organic line up, increasing our availability for organic cucumbers and organic tomatoes."
Attendance at United Fresh
The United Fresh Expo in Chicago provides another chance for produce companies to gather together and display their products and also to meet with customers, buyers and other industry leaders. This is precisely what NatureFresh Farms will be doing when they exhibit this year, as they discuss their sustainability goals along with their expansion plans.
"This year we are at booth #2019 – an easy one to remember!" Badder said. "We will be discussing our sustainability initiatives and our expansion plans in addition to showing off some exciting new products! United Fresh is an opportunity to get to know our team and really understand the values that drive the NatureFresh Farms standard. As NatureFresh Farms continues to grow in respect to our team, crops and products, every expo is an opportunity to showcase who we are, what we do and what is new and exciting! United Fresh is an amazing opportunity to discuss ideas with other industry leaders."