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Greener Fields Together Case Study Summary Naturipe: Integrated Pest Management of California Strawberries


VERIFIED SureHarvest

The Greener Fields Together National Farm program is designed to build and manage a farm supplier network dedicated to examining and improving sustainability in their

Meet Greener Fields Together National Farms Partner: Naturipe® is a partnership between four fresh berry growers: Hortifruit S.A.; Michigan Blueberry Growers; Munger Farms; and Naturipe Berry Growers. Naturipe growers are found throughout the Western Hemisphere, providing year-round strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cranberries, as well as local varieties when in season.

operations.Through 5Ps of Sustainability™ Verified

5Ps Verified Case Study: Pest Management

Case Studies, SureHarvest

Naturipe practices Integrated Pest Management (IPM)—an effective and environmentally sound approach to pest management—as a matter of company policy. For more than thirty years, Naturipe has advanced its IPM program to enhance pests’ natural enemies and reduce pesticide use in managing Lygus bug, a major pest for California strawberries. SureHarvest documented and verified this

will assist Greener Fields Together National Farm partners to evaluate their sustainability efforts according to the 5Ps. SureHarvest then conducts on-site verification to ensure accuracy and authenticity.

“IPM is an art that draws its inspiration from a desire to be a good steward of the

Lygus bug IPM program using the 5Ps of Sustainability.™

land, but is based in

Sustainabllity Highlights

science. A farmer who

Naturipe has a long-standing, highly refined IPM program for Lygus bug. From field operations to executive management, the company marries up-to-date science with on-farm realities in its California strawberry operations. Naturipe has established itself as an industry leader in Lygus bug IPM and is well positioned to continuously improve its pest management program.

applies IPM will fail if there is no understanding of the biology and chemistry of the ecosystem where the

Naturipe allows the natural ecosystem to help keep Lygus bug in check by enhancing natural habitat and promoting beneficial plants around its farms. The company consistently finds that its IPM program substantially reduces pest populations and crop damage. Naturipe knows that proper implementation of its IPM program for Lygus bug results in fewer resistance problems, less overall pesticide use, and more high-quality fruit.

Verified Case Study: Naturipe IPM of California Strawberries

IPM is being practiced.” –Tom Am Rhein,Vice President of Naturipe Berry Growers

March 2013

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1. Sustainability Principles

utilizes its

Naturipe strawberries are grown with a

5Ps of

company commitment to:


–a continuous improvement business management methodology –to craft case studies that evaluate the alignment and execution of Greener Fields Together National Farm partners’ sustainability efforts that contribute to financial profitability, environmental steward-

• Provide consumers a healthy, enjoyable eating experience

wide research and education efforts. 3. Sustainability Practices

As part of its IPM program, Naturipe uses a suite of practices including: weekly field sampling for Lygus bugs; establishing action thresholds;

• Create an enjoyable work environment

protecting natural habitat surrounding cropland;

that allows employees to achieve their

weed-host control; utilizing non-spray methods

full potential

such as bug vacuums when effective; and care-

• Operate in a legal, ethical and socially responsible manner

ship and social progress. Each case study

fully selecting and timing necessary pesticide applications for optimal efficacy. Naturipe walks the fields frequently to observe first-hand if

goes through a verification step to confirm

2. Sustainablity Processes

Lygus bug and other pests are causing damage

that the reported information is accurate,

Naturipe is committed to using IPM in its

to the plants and fruit.

thorough and authentic.

farming operations to economically manage pests with the least possible hazard to people,


property, and the environment. Naturipe

The core values that define the

realizes the importance of its IPM program to

business strategy

manage Lygus bug, a serious pest in the company’s

Processes The sets of managed activities that create internal and external value

main strawberry growing regions in California. For more than three decades, Naturipe has been dedicated to IPM and supporting industry-

The company has highly trained, certified field and management team members who remain up-to-date on the latest research in IPM methods. Central to its program is participation in industry and university IPM research trials. This basic research is then taken and adapted to meet the site-specific conditions at each

Practices The methods used to accomplish the desired operational results Performance The metrics and measurements used to evaluate practice and process results Progress The approach used to document, communicate and drive continuous

Intensive monitoring of the Lygus bug population is key to prevent the build-up of this pest population and detect when it reaches economically significant levels. Through prevention, biologic control methods, and carefully timed pesticide applications, Lygus bug can be optimally managed. Source: photo of Lygus pratensis courtesy of E.Balocchi. August 2009, Busalla, Genova.

improvement over time

Verified Case Study: Naturipe IPM of California Strawberries

March 2013

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During a typical growing season, a quality IPM program helps keep the Lygus bug population low, and reduces total pesticide use.

1.5 1.0 .5

Oc t


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Ma y


company farm. In addition to managing its own 1,500 acres using IPM, Naturipe meets regularly

“When I first started

with its third-party growers to conduct trainings and encourage information sharing within its

farming strawberries

growing community.

years ago, I felt like

4. Sustainablity Performance

we were spraying

Naturipe’s metric for success of its IPM program

all the time. As we

is documenting that the protocols are put in place and properly followed. Research and experi-

applied and improved

ence shows that regardless of what Lygus bug

our IPM program

populations or fruit damage might have occurred in any given year, the results would have been

over the years, we

worse if the protocols had not been applied.

have been able to

Naturipe carefully tracks and compiles field data

really reduce our

into a spreadsheet to chart Lygus bug popula-

pesticide use.”

tions throughout the season. To monitor and evaluate its in-house and third-party grower IPM programs, the company collects pesticide use reports, conducts monthly random pesticide residue tests, and adheres to a strict fruit grading system. 5. Sustainablity Progress

Naturipe conducts internal trainings for field crews and requires that key personnel attend external trainings on IPM methods for California strawberries. The strawberry IPM team is in constant communication about pest pressures and other variables to insure that proper methods are used to manage Lygus bug populations. Each winter, farm-level group meetings are held to recount the prior season and make plans and adjustments for the next season.

Verified Case Study: Naturipe IPM of California Strawberries

As a key component of Naturipe’s commitment

–Mario Aguas-Alvarado, Proud Grower for Naturipe

to social responsibility and continual improvement, the Board of Directors develops an annual business plan that includes its social responsibility priorities, and meets quarterly to evaluate progress. Upper management team members tie their annual work plans and compensation directly to these strategic goals. Naturipe holds meetings at all levels in the company during the year to consider progress within its California strawberry operations toward the company’s strategic goals. Each fall, a large group of Naturipe district and country representatives come together to evaluate and refine their strategies for strawberry operations.

March 2013

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Naturipe: Integrated Pest Management of California Strawberries


Naturipe is a partnership between four

The Greener Fields Together National

SureHarvest is an agri-food sustainability

fresh berry growers: Hortifruit S.A.;

Farm program was launched in 2012,

solutions company delivering practical

Michigan Blueberry Growers; Munger

with the intent to build and manage a

strategies, proven technologies, and

Farms; and Naturipe Berry Growers.

supplier network of national farms dedi-

exceptional services to accelerate financial

Naturipe growers are found throughout

cated to examining sustainability in their

profitability, environmental stewardship

the Western Hemisphere, providing

operations. Through the completion of

and social progress.

year-round strawberries, blueberries,

5Ps of Sustainability Verified Case Studies

blackberries, raspberries, and cranberries,

and reporting, the program will reveal

as well as local varieties when in season.

the efforts being made toward more

The number one priority at Naturipe

sustainable operations.

is to provide healthy, nutritious and

Sustainability process areas in the

initiatives. Our services are often coupled

Greener Fields Together National Farm

with farm management and sustainability

Since 1917, Naturipe Berry Growers

program include:

program management software technolo-

has brought berries, both conventional

• Community

gies to provide turnkey solutions.

and organic, to market. Based in Salinas,

• Employee Wellness

California, Naturipe Berry Growers

• Energy and Climate

produces berries within the very special-

• Packaging

ized maritime climate of the Pacific

• Pest Management

coastline, including Irvine, Oxnard, Salinas,

• Soil Management

Watsonville and Santa Maria. Naturipe

• Waste Management

Berry Growers has ninety years of

• Water Management

tasty berries.

experience, dedication, exclusive growers, and safe growing practices.

Clients span the agri-food value chain and benefit from SureHarvest’s market-leading expertise and experience in the design, execution and verification of sustainability

SureHarvest is the pioneer in adapting business process approaches (e.g.Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, Lean, etc.) to the more variable conditions of farming, harvest logistics, and packing/shipping. Titled the 5Ps of Sustainability™, this business process management approach is

The Greener Fields Together effort will

used as the principal strategic framework

demonstrate the commitment farmers

for creating value with our customers.

For more information, please visit

are making toward ensuring a future

for food.

For more information, please visit

For more information, please visit

Verified Case Study: Naturipe IPM of California Strawberries

March 2013

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