SANTA PAULA, Calif.– Limoneira Company (the “Company” or “Limoneira”) (Nasdaq:LMNR), a diversified citrus growing, packing, selling and marketing company with related agribusiness activities and real estate development operations, released its inaugural Sustainability Report, outlining its long history of commitment to environmental and social responsibility and sustainability programs and practices.
Since Limoneira’s inception, sustainability has been an integral part of its overall business practices. The Company’s appreciation for its land, employees and customers greatly contributed to its sustainability mindset and ability to pioneer techniques to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
“Limoneira has been sustainably producing citrus for over a century and a quarter. Over this long period one thing has remained constant – our commitment to stewardship is an ingrained part of our culture and mission statement,” said Harold Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer of Limoneira. “We have a long history and a strong commitment to being an ethical and responsible company acting with integrity and respect for each other, our communities and the environment. Sustainability is the basis of our corporate stewardship for both natural and human resources. We are pleased to display our leadership role in these areas through our inaugural sustainability report.”
Highlights from Limoneira’s Sustainability Report include:
Efficient Use of Inputs
Limoneira schedules working hours to run off-peak to reduce the Company’s energy demand. Any green waste that is created through its agricultural practice (old trees, pruned limbs, dry leaves, etc.) is turned into organic mulch and is spread through Limoneira orchards. Not only does this organic mulch limit waste, it increases tree and soil health as well as increases yield per tree.
Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year —approximately 1.3 billion tons— gets lost or wasted. Food losses and waste amounts to roughly US$ 680 billion in industrialized countries and US$ 310 billion in developing countries. Limoneira harvests in a manner that is safe for its employees and limits fruit damage and disease. Additionally, the Company coordinates scheduling and information flows from their harvesting crews and packinghouse to limit fruit waste and maximize efficiencies. Limoneira also helps to address food waste issues with its “Lemon Misfits” – The misfit label is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the lemons having a little scarring from wind in the orchards. Limoneira still offers “Lemon Misfits” as a product to consumers knowing that although they may be ugly – beauty is only skin deep as they are still perfectly juicy.
The company’s new packinghouse uses state-of the art technologies to increase efficiencies and limit fruit damage, leading to the highest quality citrus produced. The Company ensures that conditions which could contaminate fruit with pathogens are non-existent. Workers are provided with training and oversight on sanitation, toilets and hand washing stations. To ensure that Limoneira fruit meets proper quality controls, the Company’s packinghouse randomly tests a percentage of fruit that is an accurate representation of the entire harvest. These multiple tests certify that the fruit is high quality and that it does not contain harmful residues from the surrounding environment. An internal trace-back-system also takes place which matches potential problems with specific orchards, allowing fast and responsible corrective measures if necessary. Limoneira maintains one of the highest food safety systems from tree to dock in the industry.
Site Selection, Species and Variety
Preventive strategies, adopted early, can reduce inputs and help establish a sustainable production system. When possible, pest-resistant crops are selected which tolerate existing soil or site conditions. When site selection is an option, factors such as soil type and depth, previous crop history and location (e.g. climate, topography) are taken into account before planting.
The Company maintains diversity with respect to operational locations, and planted crop locations. This diversity creates great economic resiliency and sound sustainable practices. Maintenance of geographic and crop diversity helps to ensure that when one crop suffers, others potentially thrive.
Water, Energy, Soil
Rigorous inspection of water supply prevents waste/run-off and promotes water quality. Solar orchards provide 7M KW of clean energy. 12 acre green waste project reduces landfill waste and provides healthy mulch for orchards. A project with Tesla studies the efficacy of a battery system paired to Limoneira’s solar orchard. The goal is to reduce demand from the utilities during high demand periods.
Integrated Pest Management
Limoneira is one of the founders of Associates Insectary. This grower-owned cooperative, formed in 1928, is dedicated to providing complete pest control services to commercial citrus and avocado farmers. When it comes to managing insects there’s nothing more natural than using beneficial insects to control destructive agricultural pests. Limoneira maintains a complete Integrated Pest Management system to bring their own sustainably-grown products to market.
Limoneira is one of the largest providers of work force housing in Ventura County. Limoneira has always operated on the principle that all businesses are only as successful as their employees—and that content employees are motivated employees. This explains why the company was one of the first agricultural employers to offer low-cost housing to those who do the hardest work of all. Limoneira properties now offer 259 homes for families of its ag workers. In keeping with the Company’s century old commitment to sustainability, the majority of units are located on the historic Limoneira Ranch.
The Company supports organizations that make our communities vibrant and whose missions include educational enrichment, child development, job-creation, economic development, public safety and tourism.
Limoneira remains abreast of the latest industry developments by reading journals, listening to peers and participating in industry meetings. In many cases Limoneira has played a role in founding grower and nursery industry associations. Employees monitor the exotic pests and diseases that may have entered our regions and could damage our crops. Similarly, Limoneira strides to educate kids by providing a comprehensive program that enables students to learn about nutrition, energy and food
“The sustainability story begun by our Pioneer forefathers in 1893 is increasingly relevant and important,” Said Harold Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer, “While we have made significant progress over our 126 year history, Limoneira will continue to make improvements in efficiency and reducing our impact on the earth and making adjustments as we learn about what works and what doesn’t.”
To view the full report, please follow this link: https://limoneira.com/sustainability/
About Limoneira Company
Limoneira Company, a 126-year-old international agribusiness headquartered in Santa Paula, California, has grown to become one of the premier integrated agribusinesses in the world. Limoneira (lē moń âra) is a dedicated sustainability company with 15,700 acres of rich agricultural lands, real estate properties, and water rights in California, Arizona, Chile and Argentina. The Company is a leading producer of lemons, avocados, oranges, specialty citrus and other crops that are enjoyed throughout the world. For more about Limoneira Company, visit www.limoneira.com.