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Greener Fields Together™ Partners With SureHarvest for Continuous Sustainability Improvement Verification

MONTEREY, Calif., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Greener Fields Together, a groundbreaking, industry-wide sustainability and local produce initiative, has partnered with SureHarvest, a leading provider of agrifood sustainability technology, consulting and verification services. The partnership is a key part of the Greener Fields Together mission to effect continuous, measurable, independently verified sustainability improvements in the fresh produce supply chain. Soquel, Calif.-based SureHarvest already is working with national farm participants in Greener Fields Together, who are part of the PRO*ACT supplier network, to benchmark and track sustainability performance and improvements. The Greener Fields Together initiative is administered by PRO*ACT, the nation's leading distributor of fresh produce.

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For Greener Fields Together, SureHarvest has designed and built a comprehensive "5P's of Sustainability" approach to evaluation and verification that is now the standard verification framework for national farm partners that are part of the Greener Fields Together program. The five P's: Principles, Processes, Practices, Performance and Progress, aim to translate and document sustainability efforts at the farm, packing shed and processing levels. PRO*ACT's ultimate goal is to have all of its national farm supplier partners sign on with the Greener Fields Together sustainability initiative and become "5P-Verified." Those who have already done so or are in the process of seeking verification include Taylor Farms, Grimmway Farms, Sunkist, NewStar Fresh Foods, Naturipe Farms and Mission Produce.

"PRO*ACT wanted to ensure that any and all claims about sustainability can be independently verified as part of the Greener Fields Together initiative and to establish benchmarks against which continuous sustainability improvements can be measured," says Jeff Dlott, Ph.D., president of SureHarvest. "When farms sign on for verification, we create case studies applying the 5P's to eight separate categories of sustainability: pest management, good employee practices, soil treatments, climate/energy, water, waste, packaging and community support. Our goal is to generate enough value for them through the verification process that they make the choice to do it sooner." (Click here to see a sample case study from Taylor Farms.)

"Greener Fields Together is positioned to be the strongest, most comprehensive farm-to-fork sustainability initiative in the industry in part because of partners like SureHarvest," says Max Yeater, President of PRO*ACT. "They understand what we are trying to accomplish and have customized an innovative, technology-enabled verification solution for us and our supplier partners. From best practices to metrics and systems for tracking progress, they're helping us to keep the focus squarely on continuous sustainability improvement."

About Greener Fields TogetherGreener Fields Together is a collaboration of environmentally responsible parties, including farmers, distributors and foodservice operators, who have come together to make steady, measurable improvements in sustainability and food safety practices through all levels of the produce supply chain.

About PRO*ACT: PRO*ACT is America's leading distributor of fresh produce sourcing from premier national, regional and local farmers. PRO*ACT streamlines the produce supply chain, offering significant cost benefits and an easy, one-call solution to source the freshest produce from more than 70 third-party inspected, independently owned, local distribution centers across the United States and Canada. PRO*ACT provides category cost management through commodity contract pricing, in-house consultation services and integrated produce program distribution management.

About SureHarvest: SureHarvest is an agrifood sustainability solutions company delivering practical strategies, proven technologies, and exceptional services to accelerate agrifood financial, environmental and social progress. The company served as the program architect and spearheaded implementation of leading sustainability initiatives including the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program and California Almond Sustainability Program. SureHarvest co-founded the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops, a multi-stakeholder effort to develop sustainability performance metrics for the fruit, vegetable, and nut sector.

SOURCE Greener Fields Together

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