Nikki Rodoni and Whole Foods' Matt Rogers Discuss the Monterey County Sustainability Working Group

Nikki Rodoni and Whole Foods' Matt Rogers Discuss the Monterey County Sustainability Working Group




PrevNext

MONTEREY COUNTY, CA – The idea of competitors sitting down together and discussing their companies’ strategies and initiatives may seem like a long shot to some, but that is exactly what the Monterey County Sustainability Working Group (MCSWG) does.

The Group's most recent meeting was held on Thursday, February 12th  at Growers Express' main office and was focused on ‘Getting to know WHOLE FOODS Responsibly Grown Index’ with guest speaker Matt Rogers, Whole Foods Global Produce Coordinator. 

Nikki Rodoni, MCSWG FounderNikki Rodoni, one of the Group’s Founders, tells me that the MCSWG chose to focus on Whole Foods for this upcoming meeting because, “Sustainability surveys are becoming more common, and this was the most recent one to become public. The more we understand why retailers are asking these questions and what they are going to do with the information, the better we can prepare to respond confidently to industry surveys, buyer requests, and consumer demands for information on our sustainability efforts.”

Matt Rogers, Whole Foods Global Produce CoordinatorI spoke with Matt about the meeting and what drew Whole Foods to the event. He told me, “It was a great meeting that featured a great collection of produce industry professionals dedicated to sustainability, each in a different way. This was a great opportunity for us. Many of our suppliers were in the room and we were able to have a detailed exchange.”

The Group was established in 2011 with the purpose of providing a resource for networking and sharing current sustainability efforts among agricultural producers and processors in the Central Coast region. Industry members are welcome to attend, but on the condition that they are ready to participate in the conversations. For the MCSWG, collaboration is key.

Matt Rogers addressing the MCSWG

“Sustainability forces companies to evaluate many aspects of their operation that leads to increased efficiencies and lower operating costs. On top of that, I’ve even seen it boost company morale among employees who want to be a part of a company that ‘does the right thing,’” she says.

The Group provides an opportunity for the industry to take a proactive approach on how to stay ahead of mandates and appeal to the growing segments of environmentally conscious buyers.

“By sharing and understanding different strategies, we may reduce duplicate work, find efficiencies, and potentially create larger partnerships or programs shared between companies. Guest speakers and group members with expertise are invited to lead meetings on relevant topics to promote learning and the sharing of best management practices,” Nikki tells me.

The Group holds meetings every six to eight weeks or so, depending on availability. Companies that have been involved include: Measure to Improve, LLC, Driscoll’s, Pro*Act, D’Arrigo Bros., Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Markon, Mann Packing, Ocean Mist, Church Brothers, Taylor Farms, SureHarvest, California Giant Berry Farms, Dole, Lakeside Organic Gardens, Rio Farms, NH3 Service Co., NSF Agriculture, Grower Shipper Association, Wilber-Ellis, Steinbeck Produce, Stockman’s Energy Inc., Mission Ranches, Costa Farms, Golden Ag Assistance LLC, Ramco, Steinbeck Country Produce and Growers Express.

With collaboration at its core, the Monterey County Sustainability Working Group is bringing industry leaders together to find proactive solutions for all things sustainability.



Companies in this Story


California Giant Berry Farms

California Giant was built by the dedication of many hard-working individuals committed to one common goal; the perfect...

Church Brothers Farms

Church Brothers Farms is a vertically-integrated family owned and operated company that produces a full line of fresh...

Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc

What started out as the pursuit of the American dream by Andrew Duda, a young Slovak immigrant, has become one the country...

Taylor Farms

Taylor Farms is a family owned and operated organization that has grown to become North America’s largest supplier of...

Mann Packing

Mann’s is a leading provider of innovative, pre-washed and ready to use fresh veggies. We are one of the largest suppliers...

Driscoll's

Family owned for over 100 years, Driscoll's is passionate about growing premium fresh berries. Our strawberries,...

Dole

Founded in Hawaii in 1851, Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2010 revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world's largest producer...

PRO*ACT

PRO*ACT is America’s leading distributor of fresh produce to the foodservice industry. For almost two decades, PRO*ACT has...

Ocean Mist® Farms

Ocean Mist is the largest grower of fresh Artichokes in the United States and grows them year-round in three ideal...

Markon Cooperative

Markon Cooperative, Inc. consists of eight independent, broadline foodservice companies in the U.S. and Canada. Although...

D'Arrigo Brothers/Andy Boy

Andy Boy has a rich history as an industry trend-setter, not a follower. From the day the company was founded by Stephen...

SureHarvest

SureHarvest's 5Ps of SustainabilityTM is a proven method of aligning strategy with measurable progress to drive value....

Steinbeck Country Produce

Steinbeck Country Produce is a family owned grower-packer-shipper of fresh vegetables headquartered in Salinas, California...

Grower Shipper Association Foundation

The people who have dedicated their lives to providing healthy and nutritious food to the world are a unique bunch. In an...

Measure To Improve

The mission of Measure to Improve is to help agricultural producers and processors measure, improve and credibly promote...

Lakeside Organic Gardens

Lakeside Organic Gardens is the largest family-owned and operated, solely organic vegetable grower/packer/shipper in the...

Rio Farms, LLC

Rio Farms,LLC is a specialty crop farming operation headquartered in King City, CA farming more than 17,000 acres in...

NH3 Service Co

NH3 Service Company has proudly brought fertilizer products and services to growers in the Salinas Valley and beyond for...

NSF Agriculture

NSF International is dedicated to being the leading global provider of public health and safety-based risk management...

Grower Shipper Association

"We are the Central Coast's soluntion representing our members' agricultural needs."

Wilber-Ellis

At Wilbur-Ellis, integrity is at the heart of our success. Backed by strong leadership, our global network of local...

Stockman’s Energy

Our mission is to offer value beyond energy savings by leveraging new technology to boost our customer’s profitability and...

Costa Farms

Costa Farms is a third-generation, family-owned group of companies headquartered in beautiful Miami, Florida (AKA plant...

Ramco

Founded in 1984, RAMCO is recognized as a premier, full-service employment services company, providing quality staffing...