Greener Fields Together, a groundbreaking, industry-wide sustainability and local produce initiative, has partnered with SureHarvest, a leading provider of agrifood sustainability technology, consulting and verification services. The partnership is a key part of the Greener Fields Together mission to effect continuous, measurable, independently verified sustainability improvements in the fresh produce supply chain. Soquel, Calif.-based SureHarvest already is working with national farm participants in Greener Fields Together, who are part of the PRO*ACT supplier network, to benchmark and track sustainability performance and improvements. The Greener Fields Together initiative is administered by PRO*ACT, the nation’s leading distributor of fresh produce.
For Greener Fields Together, SureHarvest has designed and built a comprehensive “5P’s of Sustainability” approach to evaluation and verification that is now the standard verification framework for national farm partners that are part of the Greener Fields Together program. The five P’s: Principles, Processes, Practices, Performance and Progress, aim to translate and document sustainability efforts at the farm, packing shed and processing levels. PRO*ACT’s ultimate goal is to have all of its national farm supplier partners sign on with the Greener Fields Together sustainability initiative and become “5P-Verified.” Those who have already done so or are in the process of seeking verification include Taylor Farms, Grimmway Farms, Sunkist, NewStar Fresh Foods, Naturipe Farms and Mission Produce.
“PRO*ACT wanted to ensure that any and all claims about sustainability can be independently verified as part of the Greener Fields Together initiative and to establish benchmarks against which continuous sustainability improvements can be measured,” says Jeff Dlott, Ph.D., president of SureHarvest. “When farms sign on for verification, we create case studies applying the 5P’s to eight separate categories of sustainability: pest management, good employee ￼￼￼￼￼practices, soil treatments, climate/energy, water, waste, packaging and community support. Our goal is to generate enough value for them through the verification process that they make the choice to do it sooner.”
“Greener Fields Together is positioned to be the strongest, most comprehensive farm-to-fork sustainability initiative in the industry in part because of partners like SureHarvest,” says Max Yeater, President of PRO*ACT. “They understand what we are trying to accomplish and have customized an innovative, technology-enabled verification solution for us and our supplier partners. From best practices to metrics and systems for tracking progress, they’re helping us to keep the focus squarely on continuous sustainability improvement.”