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February 10, 2016

Greener Fields Together Winter 2016 Newsletter

Greener Fields Together

At Greener Fields Together we work with our business partners – starting where they are today – to help them evolve into more sustainable companies. We do it through sustainability assessments, regular third-party audits, and resource sharing, to track, measure and encourage ongoing improvements. We support and celebrate partners’ efforts to operate more sustainably. Our newsletter is an extension of this celebration; bringing you valuable information on agriculture and our proud partners so you too can be part of our journey toward advancing sustainability seed to fork.  Click here to read the full newsletter.


February 10, 2016

Almond Board Working Toward Next-Generation Sustainability Solutions

Ann-Marie Jeffries, Growing Produce

Consumers are taking a greater interest in understanding how and where their food is grown. As a result, the Almond Board of California has launched a task force to create and foster initiatives that will prepare the almond industry for a more sustainable future.  Richard Waycott, Almond Board president and CEO, says the effort to create the Accelerated Innovation Management (AIM) program started a little over a year ago. “It came out of the realization that California agriculture is really passing through a threshold from where it’s been to where it’s going, and certain fundamental changes are occurring. Also, resources are being stretched like never before,” he says.  Click here to read the full article.


February 4, 2016

Accurate Nitrogen Budgeting Important for Almonds

Gabriele Ludwig, Director, Environmental Affairs, Almond Board of California

Exclusive to Western Farm Press

"With almond bloom under way, almond growers should remember to utilize the nitrogen budgeting tool available at when making their plans."  Click here to read the full article.


January 27, 2016

CSWA 2015 Report Shows Wide Adoption of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices in California

California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance

SAN FRANCISCO – The 2015 California Wine Community Sustainability Report released today by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) shows broad participation in its Sustainable Winegrowing Program (SWP) and wide adoption and implementation of sustainable practices in vineyards and wineries around the state.  The Report also shows growing participation in Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, a program providing third-party verification of sustainability practices.   Since CSWA was founded in 2002, 2,091 California vineyard and winery organizations have participated in the SWP Self-Assessment Program.  These organizations represent over 421,000 acres, 69% of California’s winegrape acreage, and more than 212 million cases, 79% of cases produced in the state.  CSWA has held 550 workshops to provide information and guidance for implementing sustainable practices attended by nearly 14,000 representatives of winery and vineyard operations of all sizes.“As the world’s fourth largest wine producer, California has one of the most comprehensive and widely adopted sustainability programs of its kind.  The high percentage of adoption of sustainable practices reflects the commitment of the industry to continuously improve,” said Allison Jordan, CSWA Executive Director. Click here to read the full press release.


November 24, 2015

CCFC to Launch BloomCheck

Floral Marketing

After concluding a successful pilot project of three farms, the California Cut Flower Commission’s official third-party-certified sustainability certification program, BloomCheck, is ready to launch, according to a news release. The program is the result of a comprehensive study and two-year Specialty Crop Block Grant that was initiated to help better position California’s flower farming practices as the sustainability standard of choice for consumers and the industry. “Consumers across our country understand the high standards and the strict oversight that is involved with growing anything in California,” said CCFC Chief Executive Officer Kasey Cronquist in the release. “BloomCheck was developed to make sure our farms were provided with the credit they deserve for the work they do to meet and exceed the high bar involved with growing flowers in California.” Click here to read the full article.  Click here to go to the BloomCheck website.


October 23, 2014

Grant focuses on leafy greens best practices

The Packer

A two-year project will bring participants in the fruit and vegetable supply chain together to determine best practices for sharing of performance metrics related to input use.

Alison Edwards, project director for the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops, said the group recently won a California State Conservation Innovation Grant for the project. “The idea behind the project will be to design a model for the best use of performance metrics throughout the supply chain,” she said.


June 26, 2014

America's 'first pear', the Barlett, to begin harvest July 7

Chris Zanobini

The first Bartlett pears of the season are set to harvest in California July 7. “California Bartletts provide consumers with an heirloom experience because this is the same product people can find in their local farmers market.  They have been sustainably-grown for over 100 years by smaller, family farmers who are trusted and safe,” said Chris Zanobini. Click here to read more.

October 22, 2013

How Del Monte is measuring the next food evolution

Jennifer Inez Ward

When it comes to the use of food metrics, Del Monte Foods is on full tilt.

Thanks to pressing sustainability needs and limited natural resources, increasing reliance upon metrics for the food and agriculture sector is gaining ground in the United States. Helping to lead the way is Del Monte Foods, which is using detailed metrics to measure the effectiveness of everything from energy to water to waste.


September 23, 2013

SISC Releases First Suite of Metrics

Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops

Data-Driven Measurement Tools Bring Consistency to Sustainability

SISCSEBASTAPOL, CALIF., The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops (SISC) today announced the release of five Working Metrics, or measurement tools, designed to support sustainability efforts across the specialty crops supply chain.  Developed through unprecedented collaboration among growers, buyers and public interest groups, the new suite of metrics is intended to provide a science-based yardstick for assessing on-farm performance across key areas impacted by the production of fruits, vegetables and nuts. "In addition to helping growers target areas for improvement, the metrics will enable them to compare their farms to those of similar growers over time," noted Steve Balling, Director, Agricultural & Analytical Services, Del Monte, and SISC Steering Committee member. "Just as important, they provide us all with a common language for communicating with customers and consumers about the impact of our production methods--and for clearly demonstrating the stewardship activities of U.S. farmers." Read more here...

SureHarvest was a founding member of SISC and has served both as an expert on the Coordinating Council and manager of two NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants over the past five years that have funded most of the work to develop and pilot metrics and to create the organizational structure that oversaw the evolution of SISC. SureHarvest was instrumental in working with growers, food companies, trade associations and buyers to field test the metrics during pilots in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

August 13, 2013

Ted's Montana Grill Joins PRO*ACT'S Greener Fields Together Farm-to-Fork Sustainability Initiative


Greener Fields TogetherTed’s Montana Grill has become the first  national restaurant concept to partner with Greener Fields Together™, the groundbreaking sustainability and local produce program. Greener Fields Together, created by PRO*ACT, is dedicated to working with foodservice and retail operators to achieve their sustainability goals.


August 5, 2013

The Future of Farm Extension

Dr. Cliff Ohmart

Cliff's column discusses the UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) severe budget cuts during the past 10 years, and the challenge to replace farm advisors who retire or leave their positions.
Vineyard View Logo

July 15, 2013

Book Review: View From the Vineyard by Dr. Cliff Ohmart

Book and Film Reviews

Most winegrowers want to practice sustainable winegrowing but are not aware of any simple definition of sustainability or how to practice it.  This book serves
to provide the concepts and perspectives needed to address the complex issues associated with sustainable winegrowing. The author, Clifford P. Ohmart, has the background and experience to shed light on this topic perhaps better than anyone else.

July 12, 2013

Crops stewardship index working on pilots for metrics

The Packer

The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops, founded in 2008 by a coalition of growers, buyers and public interest groups, is conducting pilot tests in an attempt to define metrics in four categories: water, energy, soil, and nutrients.

The tests are an important part of the process of using farm data to drive decisions.

July 12, 2013

California almond board progresses toward sustainability program

The Packer

The Almond Board of California is working with SureHarvest, Soquel, Calif., to build a sustainability program for growers.

The idea for the program came a few years ago, when the board decided it was necessary to start telling the story of sustainability in the California almond industry, said Kendall Barton, coordinator of industry relations for the board.

“We know the growers do what they do for a reason, and we want to tell other people who don’t know the reasons,” Barton said.

“If you don’t tell your story, someone else will, and it could be wrong. We want to be proactive and make sure it’s a true story backed up by statistics,” she said.

July 12, 2013

Greener Fields Together initiative verifies sustainable growers

The Packer

Monterey, Calif.-based Pro*Act launched the Greener Fields Together sustainability initiative only nine months ago but has enjoyed progress already. The initiative partners Pro*Act with SureHarvest, Soquel, Calif., to provide verified case studies in sustainability advances.

June 3, 2013

Almond Environmental Tour shows sustainability in action

Western Farm Press

The Almond Board’s recent environmental stewardship tour provided real-world examples of how almond growers are taking sustainable farming principals and putting them into action in a way that manages resources with an eye toward environmental stewardship and economic viability.

April 22, 2013

Orioles announce Go Green initiatives

Orioles Press Release

Baltimore Orioles announced on Earth Day a series of “Go Green” initiatives for 2013 including supporting the Greener Fields Together Program to focus on advanced sustainability from seed to fork.  Go Orioles!

April 15, 2013

Young almond grower reaps CASP benefits

Bob Curtis, Gabriele Ludwig, Almond Board of California

Through participation in the California Almond Sustainability Program CASP, grower Eric Genzoli has been able to manage the most difficult pest in almonds, the navel orangeworm, through timely winter sanitation, now rarely if ever having to resort to a spray control.  Eric was able to learn about the efficacy of this practice and what other growers were successfully doing to control this pest through the aggregate data gathered from growers through CASP. Click here for full article

March 21, 2013

From Seed to Fork


Pro*Act's Greener Fields Together progam was featured in the Spring issue of food&drink Magazine.   The program targets and measures "green farming activities including energy use, waste and water management, pesticide/herbicide use, packaging and transportation.  Farms partnering with Pro*Act demonstrate their commitment to sustainability in one or several of the activities which are then verified by SureHarvest using the 5Ps of Sustainability -- principles, processes, practices, performance and progress.

December 1, 2012

Data Validates California Almond Growers' Sustainable Practices

California Almond Board

Increased participation in the California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) is yielding statistically significant data that shows the almond industry is practicing sustainability in a range of production practices.  The program is based on growers completing self-assessment modules to report which practices they employ in their operation or specific orchard.  The five modules are: Pest Management, Irrigation Management, Nutrient management, Energy Efficiency and Air Quality. "This level of participation shows that CASP is clearly gaining traction within the almond-growing community," said Joe Browde with SureHarvest who is working with the almond industry develop and implement the sustainability program.

Growers this year are also able to complete modules online.  Those online modules contain an easy-to-use, autofill feature to assess multiple orchards/locations, and offer participants continuing education credits for PCAs and certified applicators.  A new round of workshops will start up throughout the stae in January. For article read here

August 11, 2012

Nitrates and Water in California

Dr. Cliff Ohmart

A report released in March about nitrate contamination of groundwater has triggered a process by California’s regional water quality control boards that will potentially affect farmers across the state. In this month's article Dr. Ohmart discusses the complex nature of groundwater nitrate contamination and what new regional regulations may entail.
Cliff Ohmart's Vineyard View in Wines & Vines

May 15, 2012

Almond growers conduct environmental show and tell for regulators

Vicky Boyd, Editor The Grower

In an effort to educate the regulators about the science and technology they use to make decisions, almond growers opend up their operation to more than two dozen state and federal regulators recently. 

April 12, 2012

The Benefits of Ecosystem Services for Growers

Jeff Dlott, American Vegetable Grower

“More with less, save the rest.” The three key concepts set forth in this phrase have been at the center of many recent domestic and international conversations about the future of agriculture i.e. producing more food while using fewer resources. Another perspective on what “more with less, save the rest” means is that many farmers and ranchers are already producing more than food, including environmental and social benefits that are increasingly being referred to as “ecosystems services.”  Dlott serves on the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel.  The panel is now working to develop an ecosystem services evaluation framework that can be used to recognize environmental value, and identify and prioritize incentives to reward growers for producing multiple ecosystem services benefits.  “Though not as catchy as the opening line, I prefer the statement “Pay farmers for producing more ecosystem services with less and saving the rest”, Jeff Dlott.

March 12, 2012

Four Voices on the Future of Food Shopping

by Bill Bishop

What key drivers will reshape food shopping in coming years? The experts on Brick Meets Click’s Food Segment team, provide four thought-provoking responses: Larry Kaagan says that science is changing our understanding of food. Martha Roberts is thinking about the impact of social trends. Krysten Hommel imagines creating feedback loops that use shoppers’ own data to add value. And SureHarvest's Jeff Dlott describes how his feedback loop is changing his shopping patterns. All belong to Food Foresight’s Blue Ribbon Panel, an organization that develops trends intelligence for the food and agriculture industries. Click here for Bill Bishop's BMC Blog to see a peek around the corner at what’s coming.

September 11, 2011

Measuring Sustainability

Dr. Cliff Ohmart

Since the early 1990s winegrowers and winemakers have been committed to moving along the sustainability continuum, from less sustainable to more sustainable.  For the most part, progress has been measured by implementing and tracking practices.  Once practices are implemented little follow up measurements are made to find out if these practices are having the benefits attributed to them.  In this month's article, Cliff discusses measuring performance rather than tracking practices as an approach to determine levels of sustainability and track progress.

August 22, 2011

SISC and SureHarvest awarded Conservation Innovation Grant

SISC and SureHarvest Awarded Funding from Conservation Innovation Grant Program of USDA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack awarded SureHarvest and SISC a $761,820 Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) to help specialty crop owners measure their performance in sustainable practices.  The grant allows SISC to continue its work developing a way for companies to identify and track sustainable processes and materials in their supply chain and do in field pilot testing, said Jeff Dlott, founding president of SureHarvest.  

July 5, 2011

Environmental Stewardship Tour Demonstrates Complexities of Sustainable Almond Farming

Almond Board of California

The Almond Board's Environmental Stewardship Tour in May illustrated to regulators, public policy makers and the media how California Almond growers have shifted production practices over time to address environmental issues while improving profitability.

July 1, 2011

Fresh start for pears and for California Pear Advisory Board

Fresh Plaza

California Pear Advisory Board Logo

According to Chris Zanobini, Executive Directory of the California Pear Advisory Board, the 2011 season marks a “fresh start” for the California Pear Advisory Board.

On the sustainability front, “An assessment of our pear farms has verified a very high percentage have adopted innovative and environmentally-friendly farming practices,” said Zanobini.  “In fact, we have a wonderful story to tell about our efforts to achieve sustainability that is important for our customers to know.”

July 1, 2011

Biopesticides Come of Age

Cliff Ohmart, Wines & Vines

If you associate biopesticides with organic farming, it might surprise you to find out that more are used in conventional fields than in organic fields. They are a great fit in many pest-management programs.

June 10, 2011

Sustainability: Getting Down To Business

Jeff Dlott, American Vegetable Grower

Leading food, retail and foodservice companies have reported cost savings in the areas of energy and waste management attributed to their sustainability efforts.  In our experience, there are opportunities for growers for increasing the efficiency of critical resources including energy, water, fertilizers and other necessary inputs.

May 2, 2011

Sustainable Growing's Third 'E'

Cliff Ohmart, Wines & Vines

Although labor is the most costly part of growing winegrapes, social equity, the "Third E" often gets the least amount of time devoted to it.  In this months column, Cliff shares his thoughts on creating a sustainable vision for your company and developing an effective human resources management program.

March 19, 2011

The most powerful grower in Napa

Lettie Teague, Wall Street Journal

According to the Wall Street Journal's Lettie Teague who writes about wine in the Life and Culture section, Andy Beckstoffer is the most powerful grower in Napa. Andy farms some of the best Cabernet winegrapes and sells to small and large wineries alike. Since 2007, SureHarvest is proud to be the farming data software provider for Beckstoffer Vineyards.

February 23, 2011

Sustainability isn't new

Dave Eddy, Western Fruit Grower

The Almond Board of California CEO Richard Waycott notes that sustainability is being driven by mainstream food companies and retail chains. The Almond Board wants to prepare its members for meeting this marketplace demand through the California Almond Sustainability Program.  Almond growers participating the self-assessment program designed by SureHarvest for the Almond Board are finding that many of their growing practices are meeting sustainability goals. In this article, Dr. Dan Sonke of SureHarvest provides and example of the kinds of self-assessment questions being asked as it relates to water management.

February 13, 2011

Soquel software company sowing sustainability

Jennifer Pittman





Our local paper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, profiled SureHarvest in it's Sunday Business section.

January 27, 2011

California IPM Innovators Honored

Growing Produce News

SureHarvest was one of six recipients of the California Department of Regulation's IPM Innovator awards, described here in this Growing Produce article.

January 26, 2011

Almond growers are taking the initiative on sustainability

Bob Johnson

Responding to questions from their buyers and pressure from regulators, the Almond Board of California is taking proactive steps to lead its growers to understanding and implementing sustainability strategies. This Ag Alert article provides an overview of the California Almond Sustainability Program and its progress to date.


January 10, 2011

Incorporating Strategy into Day-To-Day Business

Jeff Dlott

Given the growing relevance of sustainability in the agricultural industry, the American Vegetable Grower magazine launched a new column called "Sustainable Ag" with SureHarvest CEO Jeff Dlott writing as the guest columnist. In his debut column, Jeff articulate the benefits of integrating sustainability as a business strategy to drive day-to-day operations.

November 29, 2010

SureHarvest spearheads sustainbility projects

Don Schrack, The Packer

Packer reporter Don Schrack interviews Dr. Cliff Ohmart, VP Professional Services, about SureHarvest work with to develop sustainability programs for more than a dozen California commodity groups with funding from the CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grants program.

November 17, 2010

Agriculture lecture speaks on sustainability

Cal-Poly Mustang Daily

The next generation of agricultural leaders at Cal Poly got a lecture in sustainability from a pioneer, Dr. Cliff Ohmart, VP Professional Services for SureHarvest.

October 30, 2010

California farmers answer retailers' requests

John Holland, Modesto Bee and Robert Rodriguez, Fresno Bee

Modesto Bee reporter John Holland features several growers who are responding to an increase in request from retailers for sustainability performance, including Chris Savage of E.J. Gallo Winery and Chair of the California Sustainability Wine Alliance; and Fresno County grower John Diener who farms according to the sustainability certification program of The Farm Alliance.

October 25, 2010

Valley farmers see future in sustainable agriculture

Robert Rodriguez, The Fresno Bee

Farmers in the Central Valley are pursuing various strategies to respond to the growing demand for sustainability in the marketplace. This Fresno Bee article highlights efforts of The Food Alliance, The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops, as well as the sustainability programs employed by trade associations including the Almond Board of California, the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission and the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. SureHarvest marketing manager Barbara Meister is quoted noting that the drive for sustainability is apparent in the boardrooms of many Fortune 500 companies.

October 11, 2010

Nut producers embrace goal of sustainability

The Packer, Jim Offner

The Packer highlights the work of the peanut, pistachio and hazelnut industries in their pursuit of sustainability strategies. SureHarvest recently completed a Needs Assessment for the Oregon Hazelnut Commission, providing the industry with direction for launching a sustainability program for their member growers. Their program will begin with the development of a self-assessment, benchmark measurement and continuous improvement initiatives in the areas of Pest Management and Soil Management.

October 11, 2010

Sustainability plays increasing role in foodservice

Ashley Bentley, The Packer

Dr. Jeff Dlott spoke at the Culinary Institute of America's conference in September.

August 16, 2010

Communicating Sustainability to the Consumer

Ali Hart

Andrew Arnold reviewed recent consumer market research at the recent Sustainable Agricultural Partnerships to illustrate the potential opportunities for creating value supply chains for sustainability in the food and ag sector. Read more about the conference discussions on consumer trends in sustainability in The Triple Pundit article, Communicating Sustainability to the Consumer

July 30, 2010

California pears high on sustainability scale

Western Farm Press

SureHarvest Professional Services was commissioned by the California Pear Advisory Board and the Pear Pest Management Research Fund to survey the use of sustainability farming practices among California pear growers. SureHarvest surveyed 56 growers representing 71% of the industry and found a large majority employing integrated pest management practices, conservative applications of fertilizer and a high use of cover crops to conserve soil.

July 29, 2010

California pear growers get good marks for sustainability

Don Schrack, The Packer

SureHarvest Professional Services was commissioned by the California Pear Advisory Board and the Pear Pest Management Research Fund to conduct a survey of California pear growers from June - November 2009 to assess farming practices according to best management practices for sustainability performance. SureHarvest surveyed 56 growers representing 71% of the industry. The survey found a large majority employing integrated pest management practices, conservative applications of fertilizer and a high use of cover crops to conserve soil. The study also highlighted areas for improvement providing the industry with a benchmark to focus on continuous improvement.

June 14, 2010

Getting Strategic About Measuring Sustainability

Tim York and Jeff Dlott in The Packer

Tim York of Markon and Dr. Jeff Dlott of SureHarvest discuss the strategic reasons for a standard measurement of sustainability performance for the fresh produce industry.

May 17, 2010

The Greening of San Joaquin

Patricia Kutza, San Joaquin Magazine

As green efforts become increasingly important in San Joaquin, programs such as the Lodi Rules, certified by Protected Harvest, are experiencing great progress.  Cliff Ohmart, of SureHarvest, talks about the development of a self-assessment workbook for sustainability in collaboration with the Almond Board of California.     

May 13, 2010

New agricultural initiative aims to move past greenwashing into measured sustainability

Zachary Stahl

As everyone tests out new systems to measure sustainability its the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops that aims to draw the bottom-line for what can be considered sustainable practices.  Andrew Arnold, of SureHarvest, comments on the companies involved in the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops that are working towards that bottom line. 

April 26, 2010

Consumers Focus on Sustainability

Tom Karst

Jeff Dlott, of SureHarvest, spoke at the United Fresh Produce Sustainability Conference in 2010 about emerging trends in sustainability.  As many major corporations are incorporating sustainability practices into their daily operations consumers will have more options than ever to connect with their favorite retailers.  Consumer loyatly is key and could carve out a niche market for companies practicing sustainability.  

March 15, 2010

How Can a Vineyard be Carbon Neutral?

Cliff Ohmart

Cliff Ohmart, of SureHarvest, explains what a carbon footprint is and how to reduce a vineyard’s carbon footprint.  Ohmart discusses some of the problems with measuring a vineyard’s carbon footprint due to a lack of research in certain aspects of the measurement process.

February 26, 2010

A Sustainability MPG Rating

Tom Burfield

The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops will list metrics in 14 categories to measure sustainable performance throughout the specialty crop supply chain.  Organizers hope the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops will become a user-friendly industry standard that will save time and money for growers trying to meet demands of multiple buyers and sustainability auditors.  The organizers of the Stewardship Index are made up of members from many organizations that represent buyers, growers, and non-governmental organizations. 

February 16, 2010

You Shouldn't Have to Pay More for Eco-Friendly Produce

The Healthy Grown Wisconsin potato label has announced it will price its potatoes at the market price for Wisconsin potatoes instead of at the premium price for eco-friendly grown produce.  Protected Harvest certifies and audits all Healthy Grown growers, packers, and shippers to ensure the company adheres to strict environmental standards.  Healthy Grown has found sustainability to be economical and is passing these savings on to their customers.     

February 11, 2010

Sustainable Opportunity

Dr. Jeff Dlott

Dr. Jeff Dlott, of SureHarvest, discusses businesses looking inward and finding cost saving opportunities through sustainability practices.  The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops is working to develop a common set of sustainability metrics that businesses in the specialty crop supply chain can use to compare performance metrics against those of industry averages for ultimate efficiency.   

February 9, 2010

Charting the Course for a Stable Processing Sector

Press Release

SureHarvest’s Jeff Dlott attended the sold-out POTATO EXPO 2010 and tradeshow.  Attendees came from all over the world to learn about the most important issues facing the potato industry.

February 9, 2010

Wisconsin Whole-Farm Potato Growers Make Strides in Conservation and Sustainability

Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

The Healthy Grown eco-label, overseen by Protected Harvest, is gaining notice as a trustworthy eco-labeling program as consumers and businesses become increasingly skeptical of misleading eco-friendly claims.  The Wisconsin Eco-Potato partnership and the Healthy Grown eco-label work to increase and improve sustainability practices on Wisconsin potato farms.

February 1, 2010

No Boring Wines

Michelle Machado

Two Wine CorksMichelle Machado of San Joaquin Lifestyles discusses the sustainable winegrowing practices maintained by the Ripkens Vineyards and Winery Inc. which are audited by Protected Harvest according to the Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing.  These sustainable winegrowing practices support biodiversity while allowing the growth of many varietals of grapes.

January 27, 2010

Sustainability Hot Topic At Winegrower Meeting

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important from farms to governemnt legislation to consumers and it showed at the 2010 Wine and Grape Symposium.  Businesses are taking initiative and cutting costs with sustainability while finding ways to profit from it.  Jeff Dlott, of SureHarvest, said the winegrape industry has been a leader in the sustainability movement.   

January 22, 2010

Company offers guidelines for starting sustainability plan

Lance Jungmeyer

Andrew Arnold, of SureHarvest, offers a few recommendations for converting to sustainability from making the decision to convert to the actual process of converting.  

January 22, 2010

Programs take shape by different methods

Lance Jungmeyer

Different companies have used different strategies to convert to sustainability practices, from a specific group of employees focused on sustainability to incorporating sustainability as a company wide practice in which everyone is involved.  Andrew Arnold, of SureHarvest, urges that sustainability practices are most successful when driven by the top management of a company.        

January 22, 2010

Sustainable Business Practices Take Center Stage

Lance Jungmeyer

Businesses of all sizes are beginning to look toward sustainability programs to reduce emissions, lower costs, and increase long-term profits.  Barbara Meister, of SureHarvest, named just a few of the smaller, west coast companies that are taking steps towards sustainability.  Just as food safety was once optional, in a few years sustainability will be just as much of a requirement from the government and the public.    

January 15, 2010

Getting Started

Melissa Hansen, Good Fruit Grower

Pam Mitchell of Sureharvest speaks at the Washington State Horticultural Association about choosing the appropriate farming management information system.  The appropriate system for a farm depends on the data that each farm aims to collect and which features of a software program are the most important.   

January 15, 2010

Sustainable Benchmark

Peter Mitham

Sureharvest farming MIS allows farmers to benchmark data resulting from sustainability practices. The benchmarks make it possible for farmers to compare themselves to competitors and to show real data to retailers demanding sustainability.    

January 15, 2010

Documenting sustainability: Software contributes to sustainable management

Peter Mitham

Peter Mitham of Good Fruit Grower discusses the value of farming management software for data-driven decision making to manage toward sustainability. With farming data collected and analyzed through the SureHarvest Farming MIS, growers can determine if their farming practices are having the intended results. Resource use can be optimized if growers can see correlations between inputs, weather and farming practices.

January 11, 2010

Winning numbers. Almond industry begins to collect data to back sustainability claims.

Vicky Boyd

Vicky Boyd, editor of The Grower magazine, reviews the Almond Sustainability Program launched by the Almond Board of California in collaboration with SureHarvest. Modeled after the Sustainable Winegrowing Program, the almond industry recognizes the growing demand for data among its buyers and the value of a grower-driven self-assessment tool to measure how growers are doing and identify opportunities for improvement.

January 4, 2010

Why Sustainability? Almond Board Newsletter

Almond Board of California


Cliff OhmartABC's Sustainability Self-Assessment Program Discussed. The latest step in the Almond Board's industrywide sustainability initiative is a self-assessment program designed to inventory actual practices in the orchard. The program's first module-focused on irrigation and fertilizer management practices-is likely to provide a prototype for additional self-assessment modules down the road.

December 10, 2009

Sustainability discussed at Washington Horticultural Association Meeting

Renee Stern

Food safety and sustainability were the major focus of the recent Washington Horticultural Association Meeting held in Wenatchee, WA. The Packer reports on presentations of Dr. Cliff Ohmart's overview of sustainability intiatives by Walmart, Sysco and others. This article also includes coverage of the presentation by Jonathan Kaplan of NRDC regarding the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops, and food safety issues by Hank Giclas of Western Growers Association.

December 10, 2009

Sustainability an opportunity, speaker says

Dan Wheat, The Capital Press

The Capital Press attended the Washington Horticultural Association's presentation by Dr. Cliff Ohmart on Trends in Sustainability: An opportunity or an imposition?

"I like the term sustainability, but I know a lot of growers do not," said Clifford Ohmart, vice president of professional services of Sureharvest and former sustainable wine growing director at the Lodi, Calif., Winegrape Commission.

"It's the three Es," he said. "It's economically viable, environmentally sound and socially equitable."

November 30, 2009

Sustainability ranks high among citrus growers' priorities

Tom Burfield, The Packer

Tom Burfield of The Packer reviews the strategies of several citrus growers in their pursuit of sustainability. SunWest Fruit Co., has chosen to certify its growing practices through Protected Harvest and market its citrus under the Zeal brand.

November 25, 2009

Sustainability pilot looks to add participants

Tom Karst, The Packer

Tom Karst, national editor of The Packer reviews the progress of the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops with Dr. Jeff Dlott of SureHarvest. With funding from the USDA Conservation Innovation Grant of $630,000, the metrics will soon be pilot tested to see what works and what doesn't. The USDA grant is supplemented with In-kind support from participating companies including Markon Cooperative, Salinas, Calif.; SunWest Fruit Inc., Parlier, Calif.; National Potato Council, Washington, D.C.; Driscoll's, Watsonville, Calif.; Stemilt Growers Inc., Wenatchee, Wash.; Wada Farms Marketing Group, Idaho Falls, Ida.; Del Cabo Inc., Santa Cruz, Calif.; and Sodexo Inc, Gaithersburg, Md.

November 19, 2009

Specialty crop grant benefits almonds

Western Farm Press

The California Almond Board was awarded 3 Specialty Crop Grants from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. SureHarvest will be collaborating with the Almond Board to develop an integrated water and nutrient resource management program to help growers increase water and nutrient resource use efficiency. The project will include developing a self-assessment and benchmarking tool, decision-making tools and industry outreach and education.

October 5, 2009

SureHarvest receives USDA grant funding

Bob Luder

The Packer reports on SureHarvest's award of $630,000 from the USDA Conservation Innovation Grant program to fund the pilot testing of the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops.

October 5, 2009

Ecofriendly potatoes take hold in Wisconsin

Jim Offner

The Packer reports the Healthy Grown Potato Program is a collabrative of Wisconsin Poatao and Vegetable Growers Association, the World Wildlife Fund and the University of Wisconsin. Now in it's 13th year, the Healthy Grown Potato program is poised for success in the sustainability market place. Growers are feeling pressure from buyers, such as Sysco and Wal-Mart, who are asking for data. Healthy Grown potato growers who are certified have the advantage of already having that data.

September 18, 2009

Sustainability could expand to help feed the world

Jeff Dlott and Kerry Tucker

Jeff Dlott and Kerry Tucker, both Food Foresight trends panelists, outline the breadth and scope of sustainability initiatives in government, foundations, NGO's and private sector food companies, including Wal-Mart and Safeway in this Sept. 18 editorial in The Packer. They conclude, that with a growing population, there is opportunity for growers to align products to target markets, whether those are commodity or niche markets.

August 3, 2009

SureHarvest introduces map tool

The Packer

The Packer's Bob Luder reports on SureHarvest latest product offering - Farming InSight, a GIS-map based decision support tool for growers and farm managers.

July 20, 2009

Walmart plans index to encourage suppliers to embrace sustainability

The Packer

SureHarvest Barbara Meister comments on Walmart's proposed sustainability index.

July 13, 2009

Winning sustainability efforts depend on the 4 P's

The Packer

Dr. Jeff Dlott outlines a strategy for achieving sustainability by focusing on Principles, Practices, Processes and Performance as key to business innovation.

July 13, 2009

Companies work toward sustainable practices

The Packer

Ashley Bentley of The Packer reviews recent efforts by retailers and grower-shippers to meet new demands for sustainability, as well as the efforts of the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops. She references a presentation by Jeff Dlott of the scope of sustainability initiatives in the agri-food supply chain.

April 16, 2009

Zeal for the environment nets EPA award for FreshSense

The Packer

Protected Harvest partner FreshSense Wins EPA Recognition

April 13, 2009

Fresh Talk with Dr. Jeff Dlott

Tom Karst, The Packer

SureHarvest President engages in FreshTalk with Tom Karst of The Packer.

April 1, 2009

The Greening of Retail

Produce Merchandising

Protected Harvest certification program for fresh produce is cited as one of many suggestions for retailers pursuing a sustainability strategy for their customers.

March 10, 2009

Sustainability: Difficult Economy Could Be Boon for Progress

Western Grower & Shipper

Editor Tim Linden of Western Grower & Shipper magazine asked Dr. Jeff Dlott if now is the right time to pursue sustainability strategies in a down economy. Read the full article to find out why Jeff thinks sustainability and profitability go "hand in hand."

March 9, 2009

The Rise of Sustainability

California Fresh Fruit & Raisin News

Dr. Dan Sonke reviews the reasons behind mainstream interest in sustainability

March 9, 2009

DPR honors efforts to reduce pesticides

California Farmer

FreshSense, a citrus and stonefruit packing company based in Parlier, California, was honored as an IPM Innovator by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. FreshSense produces citrus and stonefruit using sustainable agricultural practices certified by Protected Harvest.

March 1, 2009

Specialty crops join sustainability trend

California Farmer

Len Richardson of the California Farmer reports on the efforts of the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops, a group of stakeholders throughout the fruit, vegetable and nut industry working together to develop a comprehensive system for measuring sustainability performance throughout the supply chain.

February 23, 2009

SureHarvest acquires ScanControl, plans to offer services to more growers

The Packer

Bob Luder of The Packer reports on what the SureHarvest acquisition of ScanControl will mean for growers in the fresh produce industry.

February 5, 2009

Stake a claim in new sustainability standards

The Packer

Greg Johnson, Editor of, reviews both the Leonardo Academy and the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops initiatives to set standards for sustainability. Jeff Dlott, president and chief executive officer of SureHarvest, a sustainability consulting and information systems company based in Soquel, Calif., and a co-founder of the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops, said "We have a blank slate now," he said, referring to the original draft by the Leonardo Academy. The purpose of the Stewardship Index is to develop a standard set of performance metrics for assessing sustainability based on outcomes, not practices.

February 3, 2009

California Stonefruit company wins IPM award

American/Western Fruit Grower

Protected Harvest Partner FreshSense, based in Parlier, CA, was recognized as an IPM Innovator by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. FreshSense, a company formed by Fowler Packing Co., SunWest Fruit Co., and Ballantine Produce Co. produces Zeal and Treehouse Kids branded stonefruit under the Protected Harvest certification program, managed by SureHarvest. Read the full article in American/Western Fruit Grower magazine.

December 2, 2008

First Green Wine Summit delves into sustainable business practices

Business Journal

SureHarvest CEO Jeff Dlott discussed Walmart's sustainability index and its implications for winegrape growers at the first-ever Green Wine Summit.

November 17, 2008

Western Growers discusses sustainability topics

The Packer

SureHarvest CEO Jeff Dlott participated in a panel discussion at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Western Growers, presenting the Sustainable Winegrowing Program as a model program for sustainability.

November 1, 2008

The 2008 Sustainability Report: First Steps

American Vegetable Grower

Laura Drotleff asked Jeff to give advice to growers on the best way to move toward a sustainable model.

November 1, 2008

Defining Sustainability

American Vegetable Grower

SureHarvest CEO Jeff Dlott comments on the efforts by ANSI to develop sustainability standards and advocates defining metrics for measuring performance, instead of practice-based standards.

October 10, 2008

Innovative outreach increases adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices in Lodi region

Dr. Cliff P. Ohmart

Abstract: The widespread adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices depends not only on rigorous science, but also on its effective delivery to growers. The Lodi Winegrape Commission (LWC) created a unique self-assessment workbook and implementation program for increasing the adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices. This project was based on results from published research projects — many generated by UC scientists — and on-farm demonstration projects carried out by LWC growers and vineyard consultants. Data from two grower surveys shows that the program led to the increased adoption of specific sustainable winegrowing practices in the Lodi region. It has also served as a model for programs in other wine regions, including in California and New York.

July 1, 2008

Green Wine Without Greenwashing?

Wines and Vines

Cliff Ohmart, Research Director for Lod-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission
Cliff has collaborated with Jeff Dlott since the 1990s and is credited with inspiring SureHarvest with his early use of barcode technology for field pest scouting and database system to track pest management farming practices.

May 23, 2008

Pundit's Mailbag - Sustainability Needs To Be Embraced By Industry

Jim Prevor's Perishable Pundit

FreshSense CEO, Blair Richardson, a partner in the Protected Harvest certification program, wrote this response to the May 2 article by Jeff Dlott.

May 2, 2008

Sustainability Expert Provides Insights To A Similar Industry

Jim Prevor's Perishable Pundit

An interview with CEO Jeff Dlott, exploring the history and role of SureHarvest in developing the Sustainable Winegrowing Program for the California wine industry.

April 21, 2008

Industry Must Focus on Sustainability

The Packer

SureHarvest CEO Jeff Dlott and Tim Markon, of Markon Cooperative, a leading foodservice distributor in Salinas, CA, argue for an industry-wide focus to create measureable and verifiable performance-based metrics for sustainability in the fresh produce sector.

September 1, 2007

Organizing, Recording and Managing Just Got Easier

California Fresh Fruit and Raisin News

Megan Pierce interviews two customers, Robert Pirie of Colligere Farm Management and Mike Wolf of Michael Wolf Vineyard Services about their experiences with SureHarvest for vineyard management.

September 1, 2007

Technology with Traction: Six Innovations that Can Lighten Your Load

Wines and Vines

Thomas Ulrich reviews technology innovations for vineyards, including SureHarvest software for in-field data collection and record-keeping.

July 1, 2006

Vineyard Management Software

Product Review by Mark Greenspan, Wine Business Monthly

Mark Greenspan reviews 11 different software programs and services for vineyard management, including SureHarvest. See pgs. 4, 7 and 8 to see how SureHarvest compares to our competitors.

September 1, 2005

Sustainable Growing Goes High-Tech

Wines and Vines

Matt Villano interviewed Jeff Dlott for the history of SureHarvest and the software application for the Sustainable Winegrowing Program.