Eagle Creek Growers has continued its approach to sustainable business practices by earning VeriFlora certification. The VeriFlora program provides stringent sustainability performance standards for growers working to address environmental accountability, the health and well-being of workers, their families and communities, and product quality.
“This was a natural next step for us in our continuing commitment to sustainability," said Todd Cain, owner of Eagle Creek Growers in Mantula, Ohio. "I believe it adds value not only for our wholesale accounts but also the end consumer. VeriFlora provides us an independent, third party certification that consumers can trust.”
VeriFlora requires its growers, including Eagle Creek, to meet stringent guidelines in the areas of crop production, ecosystem management, resource conservation, energy efficiency, integrated waste management, worker safety, workplace conditions, and product quality. “Energy efficiency and conservation has been the focus in our expansion efforts over the last 5 years.” said Cain. “Fiveyears ago when natural gas prices started going through the roof, we knew we had to do something big to sustain ourselves and the company. We installed our 300 HP Biomass Boiler system in 2006 and in 2009 we installed a 50 KW Wind Turbine. Both projects have helped us save energy and money, as well as reduce our carbon foot print. It’s a win-win all around.”
The Biomass heating system generates heat for the entire greenhouse range using recycled wood chips, saw dust, and horse manure, thus eliminating gas and oil consumption. The Wind Turbine, which has now been in place almost one full year, has helped the company save between 10 and 15 percent on its electricity.
Eagle Creek’s greenhouses and production warehouses are equipped with high-efficiency light fixtures with motion sensors. These sensors turn lights on only when people enter the area, and have reduced power consumption by one-third. Additionally, Eagle Creek has installed ebb and flow flooring designed to recycle all water used on site, reducing runoff and overall consumption. Moreover, all greenhouses have energy curtains designed to maintain appropriate temperatures overnight, which has reduced heat usage by up to 50 percent.