Whether they realize it consciously or not, all Americans rely on the food production industry every year to keep them alive and healthy. Farms, manufacturing facilities and retailers are responsible for getting food products from their points of origin to their end users – everyone.
Most of us take for granted that there will always be food on the shelves at our local grocery stores, ready for us to eat, but making that happen is actually a very complicated process, and it's one that depends on sustainability. If any business in the industry has operations that are not sustainable – be it on a budgetary level, environmentally or in any other way – that can disrupt the economy and make it tougher for Americans to find a healthy, affordable bite to eat.
"Industry leaders focus on improving sustainability with everything they do."
Fortunately, right now there are many industry leaders focused on improving sustainability. They are intent on getting every bite of food possible from the farm where it's first produced to people's refrigerators without breaking the bank or harming the environment.
A big new investment at California Giant Berry Farms
Across America, food production companies are starting to invest in more sustainable infrastructures. Doing so has led to tighter budgets and strong reputations for the businesses that make these choices. For example, according to Fresh Fruit Portal, a berry farm in coastal California recently installed a new cooling tower in advance of the strawberry harvest season.
California Giant Berry Farms, located in Watsonville, announced the move as part of a major renovation to its New West Cooling facility. Cindy Jewell, the company's vice president of marketing, noted that the farm's 35,000-square-foot facility received both a complete new cooling tower and condenser system. The new system includes the option to shut off unused fans.
"This way, if there is less fruit in the cooler to be cooled, we can run a portion of the unit instead of running the entire thing all of the time," she said.
Jewell elaborated that this move is part of a larger overall effort to improve in the area of sustainability planning.
Moving toward greater sustainability overall
The big, over-arching goal at California Giant Berry Farms is to create a facility that's more efficient. The company is investing $200,000 in an effort to reduce fruit cooling time and cut down on energy usage – in other words, they're spending now so they can save much more later.
"We're just really trying to look at all of our systems, both in the fields and in our facilities, to be more efficient and more conscious of energy and the environment in general," Jewell said. "[We're] trying to be good stewards of the land and our resources."
This is a great mindset, and it's not one that's limited to California Giant Berry Farms. All food production companies have the potential to invest more in their future levels of sustainability.
Tankless water heaters can also play a role
Another way to improve sustainability in the food production process is to pay attention to the heating and cooling of water. If you run a company like California Giant Berry Farms, you may want to consider the benefits that a high-efficiency water heater has to offer.
With a commercial tankless water heater, you'll get a constant supply of hot water that's far more efficient than a storage-based heater. Furthermore, you can expect 20-plus years of life expectancy from such a heater, which means you're making a solid investment in the long-term future of your business.