Since its founding NewStar Fresh Foods has focused its efforts on strategies that cement our industry leadership in providing superior quality specialty vegetables and value-added produce. We continuously monitor and maintain the most stringent standards for food safety and quality from growing, to processing and shipping. We are also looking for new and better ways to support our stewardship for the land where we grow our product. And we are committed to implementing sustainable practices in every aspect of our business.
NewStar invests in the technologies and facilities that ensure that we always grow, process, and deliver our products efficiently, sustainably, and to the highest standards of quality. We have grown our Mexico operations through acquisitions, and have upgraded those farms and facilities to meet the growing demand for iceless green onions, asparagus and other commodity crops, as well as value-added herbs.
Our solid grower/owner base, dedicated supply-chain management team, state-of-the-art facilities, and unbroken product cold-chain are key components in our ability to deliver world-class produce and stellar customer service.
We have also formed a partnership with the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) — a voluntary collaboration between university and industry scientists, food safety experts, government officials, farmers, shippers and processors — that incorporates rigorous science-based food safety systems that protect public health by reducing potential sources of contamination, and establishing a culture of food safety on farms. For more information, please visit caleafygreens.ca.gov.
NewStar is committed to communities where we live and work. By donating product to local organizations for fundraising events, school programs, and local food banks we make sure more food gets to people who need it, and our financial contributions help those same community groups meet other needs of the communities they serve.
For us, the word “sustainable” simply means continuing the business practices and philosophies that have part of our long-held values and commitment to corporate responsibility. Sustainability embodies the spirit and practice of doing the right thing, in balance with business, employees, and the environment.
NewStar has been the leader in the development of iceless commodity offerings that reduce cardboard usage by 26%.
We have virtually eliminated iced waxed cartons — which cannot be recycled — substantially reducing the carbon footprint from these crops compared to traditional field packs. By going iceless we also reduce the waste of precious water resources — a typical ice pack uses 10 pounds of ice for a 60 count pack — water that can be better used elsewhere. These smaller cartons also reduce the number of cartons per pallet, saving fuel and money as more product can fit on a single truck.
We continue to look for areas where we can make our business more sustainable, and our planet a better place.
In the Field…
By switching to cover crops that require less water, our growers have reduced overall water usage, and we plan our crop rotations so they return much needed nutrients to the soil, supplementing them with natural soil amendments for the highest soil quality.
Our farmers grow both organic and conventional crops, but approach all growing practices with Mother Nature in mind. We use laser and GPS guidance technology for field preparation to maximize the efficient use of land and water, further reducing and at times eliminating unnecessary cultivation.
These practices lead to minimized bed preparation, minimizing the use of diesel fuel. We also employ drip irrigation as much as possible, to more efficiently utilize and closely monitor precious water resources. Even our tender leaf crops, which require sprinkler irrigation, are watered at night or very early morning, out of the wind, to reduce water waste. We also use refrigerated trucks in the field to maximize product quality and freshness, and to minimize the number of trips from the field to the cooler, eliminating trips with empty trucks and wasted fuel.
In the Processing Plants…
NewStar has been working with a number of public utility companies and government agencies on energy management projects, with measurable results that have increased the energy-efficiency of our plants. These include the use of energy efficient motors and variable speed drive motors in our processing facilities, and the replacement of incandescent light lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
We continue to work with the EPA SmartWay Transport program — an innovative collaboration between the freight industry and government to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, improve fuel efficiency — to find ever more efficient freight solutions.
Our partnership with Greener Fields Together is just one aspect of our dedication to the environment. This program engages national farmers and processors to examine growing, harvesting and post-harvesting activities, supporting and encouraging environmentally-friendly practices and waste reduction. The program supports “continuous process improvement” in managing the growing, handling and distribution of produce to ensure a sustainable, healthy and safe supply of products without causing damage to the planet and its population. NewStar has pledged to examine impact areas and make improvements whenever and wherever possible.
Greener Fields Together has two primary goals:
As a program participant, NewStar will be audited and monitored for ongoing and measurable sustainability improvements. This includes, but is not limited to, increased micro-local sourcing purchases; food safety standards, and conservation of resources throughout our supply chain.
Examining sustainability in our operations through the completion of verified case studies and reporting shows our commitment to ensuring a future for food. For more information, please visit greenerfieldstogether.org.