If “food waste” was a country, it would rank third behind China and the United States in greenhouse gas production! That surprising statistic from the EPA led the California Green Business Network to develop its newest Food Manufacturer checklist. CAGBN worked on the project for the past year, receiving input from three food manufacturers workshops in Fresno, Los Angeles, and Stockton. Watsonville’s H A Rider & Sons also gave valuable feedback, and will be one of the first businesses to use the checklist. Strauss Creamery in Marin County has already achieved certification, Burn Hot Sauce in Santa Cruz is close to certification and eight other food manufacturers in Santa Cruz, Alameda, Fresno, Sonoma, and Ventura Counties are in progress.
Of course, food manufacturers aren’t responsible for all food waste – we can thank agricultural production, food service and institutions, wholesale and retail sources, and households for this too. Still, waste is significant in food manufacturing, and the Green Business Program can help businesses save both money and resources. Some big ticket items to save energy and water include equipment that can adjust to take advantage of cooler outdoor temperatures, using less water for cleaning, and recycling water in produce cleaning. To avoid food waste, food manufacturers can also monitor the quality, safety and cleanliness of incoming shipments, and so avoid contamination and possible product recalls.
Congratulations to our new Food Manufacturing Green Businesses!