Most recently 2008, we embarked on a project to reduce our kilowatt demand. We have the capacity to store 18,000 bins of fruit at our main acility, which calculates to about 360,000 bushels .The project which began in 2007, included an updated Oxystat system, to receive better data, replace the PLC with an updated Omron system to better control the timing, and frequency of compressor and evaporator motors. And finally, we installed “power factor” correction equipment to better utilize the power coming into the plant.
The net result….a 40% reduction in demand from our previous years average usage. Considering the plant is relatively new, we are very proud of this initiative. As a result, Bay Growers was featured in the Ontario power Authority newsletter (winter 2008) outlining our energy saving efforts, and ultimately receiving a certificate of recognition from Peter Love, Ontario’s Chief Energy Conservation Officer.
All cartons carry the FSC certification stamp. FSC is internationally recognized as the most rigorous environmental and social standard for responsible forest management. The reduction of packaging is ongoing,with several projects currently being investigated including, eliminating foam and replacing with a more environmentally friendly or “green” bubble, a new divider with 50% less corrugated, and an exportable one piece carton.
Bay Growers utilize a labour saving pre-sort system for sorting and grading fruit. This system requires a large fluming system that holds over 30,000 gallons of fresh water. This water is treated and filtered as part of the system, and then changed on a schedule to comply with our food safety program. We have a unique, filtering system, consisting of a series of gravel fields to re-introduce this water back to the existing water table.
We continually are working towards eliminating wooden bins and replacing them with plastic, although plastic bins are manufactured from petroleum, they last much longer,and comply with most food safety programs. We re-cycle all cardboard, and use only re-cycled corrugated cardboard to package our finished goods.