Sep 17, 2019Branch touts industry leadership through sustainability efforts
Branch: A Family of Farms continues to prove itself a leader in the industry through their significant progress on sustainability focused initiatives. This past year the grower of sweet corn, based in South Bay, Florida, ramped up efforts in multiple areas including growing practices, post-harvest handling and packaging to create a greener world.
One of Branch’s longstanding growers is at the forefront of much of the sustainability efforts on the ground. One of their most notable projects has been to reduce the level of nutrients leaving farms as part of their work in the Everglades Restoration initiative. Just over the past year this grower’s farmers reduced phosphorous levels by 66 percent through improved soil and farm water management techniques. In 2019, they stepped up their sustainability efforts even further with the construction of their ninth biomass boiler that is so efficient that it produces an equal amount of steam of three of their boilers combined.
“At Branch, we have looked across our company and grower partnerships to heighten our stewardship of our land and resources,” says Brett Bergmann, president of Branch. “We have come a long way in making our growing and post-harvesting processes cleaner, and we will continue to find new ways to improve. There’s some great work being done all throughout the industry to protect the environment. I’m very proud to cultivate a culture in our company that recognizes the need for a greener world.”
Last year to be more sustainable across all of their practices from farm to consumer, Branch launched their first ever eco-tray for their sweet corn. The new trays have been successful in retail and with consumers in the past year. What makes the sweet corn trays one-of-a-kind in the marketplace is the fact that they are moisture-proof, microwaveable and one hundred percent compostable.
“We have had very positive responses to our new eco-tray from customers,” says Bergmann. “We will continue to uncover new ways to improve our practices, to include those easily seen by our customers- like alternatives to plastic, as well as those readily not as visible- such as conservation of inputs on the farm. For us, it’s about our commitment to do what’s right for a greener world and the sustainability of our land and farms for the long term.”
Since 1957, founding principles still drive Branch: integrity, quality, service, a commitment to the industry and the sustainability of the environment. As a family owned and operated business, Branch is a grower, packer, shipper of sweet corn in the United States also offering its customers green beans, leafy greens, radishes and celery.