Making Sustainable Salsa

First, A Little Background

Jack and Annette Aronson started making fresh salsa in the back of their small restaurant in Ferndale, Michigan.  From the very beginning, it was clear that something special was going on.  Jack insisted on making his salsa in small batches using only the highest-quality ingredients.  Before long, people began to flock to his restaurant just for the outrageously good salsa.  One day the president of an upscale supermarket chain walked in, tried some, and insisted that Jack package it for his stores.  Thus the Garden Fresh brand was born.  Today that same commitment to quality is apparent in everything we make, from salsa to chips to dips.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

But quality alone isn’t enough.  At Garden Fresh, we’ve long recognized the importance of sustainability in everything we do, from how we source our ingredients, the the manufacturing methods we employ in making our delicious products, to the packaging materials we put it in, right down to the way we ship it to stores.  We’re constantly striving to minimize our footprint on this fragile planet, so that our children’s children will inherit a world that’s every bit as beautiful and livable as it is today.

Here are just some of the way’s we’re keeping that pledge:

Recycling:

As a company that uses a lot of raw materials, it’s vitally important that we do everything we can to keep discarded items out of the waste stream.  To that end, we maintain an active and robust recycling program that keeps our industrial waste to a minimum.  It all starts with food waste; we send our vegetable scraps to local farms for composting, preserving valuable organic material.  Ultimately, compost gets mixed with soil, reducing erosion and acting as natural fertilizer.   Edible product that doesn’t get shipped for sale is donated to local food banks to feed the hungry.

That’s not all.

We recycle approximately 80 yards of aluminum and tin each week, which saves 95% of the energy that would be required for new material.  And we recycle virtually all of our used cardboard and paper.  That translates to 20-25 tons per week, saving approximately 22,000 trees, over 800,000 gallons of carbon-producing oil, and sparing local land fills nearly4000 cubic yards of space each year”.*

Alternative Fuels

Garden Fresh is a leader in the use of biodiesel fuel for alternative use. In partnership with the Michigan Technical Academy, we donate our used tortilla chip oil for use as fuel for their four school buses.  Spent oil goes right from our production facility to the Academy, where it gets converted to bio-diesel fuel for thirsty gas tanks.  Talk about driving young minds toward a sustainable future!

Getting Better All The Time

Speaking of the future, we’re not finished yet.  Garden Fresh is constantly striving to make ourselves “greener” by adopting ever more sustainable practices that honor our stewardship of this precious planet.  While the majority of packaging we currently use is easily recyclable, we’re not satisfied with that.  Garden Fresh is working to develop bioplastic solutions for packaging used in our core products, so we can so our part to break the dependence on petroleum-based plastics.  And our trading partners are moving toward a more sustainable future too, with active involvement in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and adoption of best-practices in sustainability for their respective industries.

Together, we’re well on our way to a better future for all.

 *Source:  Evergreen Paper Recycling, Ft. Worth, Texas - http://evergreenpaperrecycling.com