Green cleaning services provide numerous benefits to Fresno CA agricultural businesses, especially those pursuing or maintaining USDA Organic Certification.
Green Cleaning Services for Sustainable and Organic Agricultural Businesses in Fresno CA
Agricultural business means everything to Fresno CA.
According to the City of Fresno’s website, it is;
[sic]…the No. 1 agricultural region in the nation- offering fresh grown produce grown right in our own backyard.
Fresno.gov – For Business
Consumers have exhibited an increasing willingness to purchase healthier, eco-friendly products, especially from small, locally/family-owned farms.
A 2015 published by Oxford Journals indicated;
[sic]…a large degree of overlapping values in the willingness-to-pay for these two [Local and Organic] food attributes.
In addition, the “small farm” attribute considered in the study also appears to be a substitute for organic and local attributes, which confirms the previous belief that one of the many reasons consumers purchase organic or local products is to support small or family-owned farms.
Ideally, an increase in safe, organic farming practices will help alleviate the, often problematic, level of air pollution common to the Central San Joaquin Valley, as well as combat ongoing drought conditions affecting local farmers.
However, to achieve or maintain Organic Certification from the USDA, compliant, post-harvest sanitation practices must be adopted, documented, and enforced.
Overall, consumer demand for healthier products has increased dramatically in the last few years, even as comparative, non-organic/green product purchases have stagnated.
According to a 2016 report published by Duff & Phelps;
Consumer preferences are changing, and changing drastically.
According to the 2015 Supermarket Guru Grocers Association Consumer Survey, 50% of people in the U.S. said their diet could be healthier.
In addition, 28% of shoppers want minimal processing and 25% said they want a shorter list of ingredients.
IFIC’s Annual Food & Health Survey also reported that 36% of shoppers said they worry about chemicals in their foods, and that foods labeled with a health attribute experienced a sales increase of 13% in the last year versus roughly flat sales throughout the store.
The Emergence of Organic Farming and Processing Services in Fresno CA
California is, by far, the leader in organic product sales in the U.S., topping approximately $2.2 Billion in sales in 2014.
For More Information:
- Organic Farming Research Foundation – Organic FAQs -Frequently Asked Questions
In response to these consumer trends, small, family-owned organic farms are on the rise in Fresno County.
The California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) member directory currently lists over 100 member-farms in Fresno alone.
For More Information:
However, the cost of organic farming tends toward the very expensive, as reflected in the price of commercially available produce.
Typical business related influences affecting price are;
- Limited supply vs. current demand, and;
- Production costs due to increased labor requirements, post-harvest sanitation, improved animal welfare, and environmental enhancements.
Professional green cleaning services can address several production costs by eliminating the need to maintain janitorial staff and store cleaning products, which must be listed in the OSP, in-house.
Green Cleaning Services Compliment Organic Farming Requirments
For products to maintain their organic certification from production, through harvest and processing, to the consumer’s table, organic compliant cleaning and sanitation practices must be implemented and independently verified.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA);
Because they present a possible risk of contamination to organic foods, any materials used on food-contact surfaces must be listed in your OSP [Organic System Plan].
Cleansers are used to remove dirt, oils, or other materials from both storage containers and processing equipment.
Nearly all cleansers are allowed because they typically are rinsed off without leaving any residue.
Sanitizers fall into a different category.
They are distinguished from cleansers because they are used on clean surfaces to kill microorganisms that may contaminate food and often aren’t rinsed.
Going on to clarify;
Section 205.605 of the National List explicitly mentions these allowed sanitizers:
• Acidified sodium chlorite
• Chlorine materials (including bleach)
• Hydrogen peroxide
• Peracetic acid/Peroxyacetic acid
Additionally, the OSP for Organic Livestock Producers, whether dairy or beef, who are required to store and provide organic feed, must contain;
Descriptions of procedures and materials used to maintain cleanliness of all containers, equipment, and storage areas in which organic feed or livestock products come into contact as well as descriptions of how these materials are prevented from contaminating organic products.
How Organic Farming Benefits San Joaquin Valley Residents and Business
According to the International Finance Corporation, a division of the World Bank Group;
17% of man-made GHG [Green House Gas] emissions come from agriculture and agribusiness.
With the ongoing pressure from reduced water rights to farmers, combined with a substantial decrease in air quality throughout the summer, compounded by California’s strict environmental protection laws, a significant paradigm shift is required for local farms and ranches to function profitably.
Fortunately, organic farming presents several advantages in the pursuit of a cleaner and healthier living and working environment.
The benefits, complimented by green cleaning practices, in particular for producers and dairy/beef farmers, include;
- A reduction in energy use/consumption.
- Reduced water usage.
- A significant reduction in deforestation and natural resource exploitation.
- A decrease in time required sanitizing food surface areas and organic feed storage containers.
- A significant improvement in overall produce, animal, and worker health due to the elimination of chemical solvents and the increased efficacy of microfiber.
- The removal of toxic chemicals that seep into our food, air, and water, and;
- A significant improvement to sustainable and profitable, consumer friendly, business practices.
- eCFR — Code of Federal Regulations – Part 205 – National Organic Program
- eXtension – Approved Chemicals for Use in Organic Postharvest Systems
- Organic Agriculture: Why is organic food more expensive than conventional food?
Consumer demand for organic produce and sustainable green practices is on the rise.
Accordingly, Fresno, the nation’s largest agricultural business area, has seen a marked increase in the number of USDA Organic certified farms, ranch’s, and producers.
However, to match the demands of the consumer with the realities of business, sustainable green cleaning practices must be adopted.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of green cleaning services for your USDA Organic Certified farm or processing facility, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 395-3009
In Fresno CA, call (559) 473-1790