At Prairie Berries, our top priority is to respect the land that grows our berries. We are always aiming to limit the impact of our operations on the environment. As we work continuously to improve, we wanted to share some of the sustainable practices that we’ve proudly implemented to date:
- Keeping it Close
When we expanded our orchard, we prioritized acquiring land within close proximity to our processing facility. This allows us to reduce the need for transport, limiting our emissions, and keeping a small carbon footprint.
- Rain, Rain, Come Again!
We optimize water usage as much as possible; along with natural rain falls, we also have two on-site dugouts to optimize on irrigation for our small orchard.
- Intervene Only When Necessary & Keep Consumers Safe
The most controversial topic of them all: Chemical Use. Along with organic food producers who also use chemicals, we exclusively employ chemicals in the reduction of larva and disease when necessary. The Prairie Berries team is constantly monitoring our orchard and only use chemicals when needed and in the most minimal amounts required to see positive effect on our crop health, and to keep consumers safe.
*A note on organic regulations: Organic Certified Saskatoon Berry production and processing is not currently regulated federally. Because we take pride in our processing and product standards, we have determined our own internal practices and procedures that align with a very high safety standard which meets industry standards in other Super Fruit categories.
- Revitalizing vs. Replanting
At Prairie Berries we have a renewal plan for our trees. Instead of removing trees when they become to big or aren’t looking super healthy, we cut the trees down to optimize regrowth. Our regrowth timeline is 3 – 4 years for trees in our renewal program verse the 7 -10 years of new planted trees. Our renewal plan allows us to forego the removal process which includes disturbance of the soil & complete waste.
- Feeding the Neighbours
Any non-use berries (sub-standard, floor droppings from processing facility, other waste berries) are dumped back out into the orchard for wildlife consumption and fertilization for the land.
- No-Waste-Driven Product Development
When creating any singular product, any byproduct or “non-use” part of the berry is repurposed for use in another Prairie Berries product. Our product development team had a great time developing our fibre-rich Fibre Boost Powder using the berry waste from production of our well-known Prairie Berries Saskatoon Berry Concentrate.
- Fill It Up
We are transitioning from plastic fill to paper and recyclable fill for all shipments, keeping our products safe from waste during transition.
- Keep It Safe
We currently use the most environmentally-friendly packaging that we can within regulatory standards of the industry. While we wish we could do more to this effect, it’s a fine balance between keeping consumers and the product safe, and limiting our effect on the environment.
* See below for our ongoing packaging goals!
THE FUTURE OF PRAIRIE BERRIES
Prairie Berries’ ongoing sustainability goals.
In the coming years, we hope that more sustainable practices and materials will be available within regulatory guidelines for producers like us. As such, we keep a running wish list of changes we would like to make when sustainable alternatives become available and are within our operational and financial capabilities to implement here at our facilities:
Due to food safety regulations and the limitations outlined for consumer safety, there is currently a ceiling on how sustainable packaging can be for consumer-grade, mass produced product. When the regulations expand OR additional packaging options become available, we will be the first to evaluate how these can alter our existing practices.
- Let the Sunshine In
As we expand, our goal is to utilizing more renewable resources within our processing facilities; employing solar energy to keep Prairie Berries going.
With the evolution of modern farming equipment, we’re hoping to see hybrid or fully electric tractors on our fields sometime in the coming years. 🙂
Comment below or complete the form if you have any thoughts, ideas, or additional goals we can add in consideration of our sustainability practices. We do this for you, we do this for the berries.