[Apples]
Apples

Sustainability

Minimizing our impact on the environment.

As a fruit grower-owned cooperative we have relied on the environment for our livelihoods for over 100 years. Sustainability is not something new, it’s why we are still here today; ensuring that clean water and soil make the orchards grow for the next generations of farmers.

Not only do we pledge to meet or exceed existing environmental regulations, we are always looking for new ways to reduce packaging, ingredient and product waste before it even becomes pollution.

Practically every part of the apple is used to make delicious products for your family. Whether it’s the peel and core from apple sauce production sent to the cider mills for juice pressing, or the tiny grade-out apples from the slicers slow-cooked in kettles for apple butter.

Over 14,000 solar panels, covering 19 acres, deliver 31% of our power to our Peach Glen manufacturing plant.

  • Our Orrtanna manufacturing plant generates a significant amount of its own electricity with the help of a natural gas-fired jet turbine engine. Waste heat from the jet engine is then used to make steam for processing lines and eliminates the need for another fuel-burning boiler.
  • Five of our production plants have modified their boilers to run on recycled motor oil. We reuse the oil from the equivalent of 2.4 million car oil changes each year.
  • Our new clean fuel burning fleet trucks use a blend of soybean-based bio-diesel fuel.
Solar Panels

We only use repairable apple bins. After the fall harvest comes in and the apples are processed, the bins are repaired and returned to the grower’s orchards for next year (250,000 repairable wood apple bins and 32,000 repairable and recyclable plastic apple bins).

  • 160 million gallons of water a year is captured from our processing operations, and irrigated onto grass fields where it re-enters the local watersheds.
  • In the past 5 years we have made significant improvements to our fresh cherry and peach processing lines. We now save over 3 million gallons of water a year. During apple season we save another 2 million as well.
Apple Boxes

The fire protection ponds at our Orrtanna manufacturing plant are stocked and open to the community for public fishing.

  • To protect other natural environments, we constructed a wetland area at Peach Glen, a grassy waterway in Biglerville, as well as field plans to control farming-related erosion.
  • Our growers are continually using innovative orchard planting practices like trellising to reduce their carbon footprint while increasing their yield per acre.
Lake People

6 million pounds a year of our apple pomace (the pressed apple material from juice production) is used locally as livestock feed.

  • Through redesigning our packaging, we have greatly reduced the amount of wasteful cardboard used to ship our products to the grocery stores. In addition, the cardboard we use is now made with 65% consumer recycled board.
  • Our 4 Adams County PA manufacturing plants were recently honored by the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce with their “GREEN Business Recognition” for our efforts in the areas of water conservation, energy conservation and waste minimization.
Cows

Many of these programs have been joint efforts with local, municipal, county, state and federal agencies and citizens’ groups, and we want to thank them for all their assistance.

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