Sustainability. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

Many companies are looking at the word sustainability and how they can incorporate those practices into their everyday operations. As well many growers are doing the same. Joe Iagulli, vice president of Supply Chain for Kettle Foods talks about what kinds of things they are looking for from the growers.

IAGULLI: Let me point out that I think the people who started the whole sustainability process are sitting in front of me. If you go back a few years I believe that sustainability started with the farmer. Back in the 1930’s with the dust bowl if you think about it the whole farming community was a lot of problems, the land didn’t last long, etc. But if I think back on what I read what happened was the farming industry went through soil erosion control, crop rotation, water runoff control, managed fertilizer levels, managed pesticide levels.

He says before that time these practices just didn’t exist.

IAGULLI: The farmer of the United States today is probably the most sustainable operation. Sustainability means long-term business planning. You want your operation to be there 100 years from now. How many production plants do you know in the United States that are efficient today that were built 100 years ago?

Iagulli says that only the individual farmer know just how much more efficient they are today than a few years ago.

IAGULLI: But if you think of it your operations, especially the chipper business, it’s amazing the productivity. It’s amazing the operational effectiveness that your operations get. From Wal-Mart’s point of view how would we measure the sustainability of your chipper? Everything we buy comes to us on a truckload. I’m getting perfect packaging design on the delivery of the 60-thousand pounds of potatoes we’re getting out of Oregon and Washington.

Iagulli was talking to the potato chip sector at this year’s Potato Expo.

IAGULLI: As I look at what we expect for sustainability we want a grower that focuses on the long term. We want you to focus on high quality potatoes for us. We assume and we realize and we’re talking about all the growers that we deal with you’ve maintained and improved the value of your land. Most of the growers we talk to are family operations and are passing on that farm or that business to the next generation so the grower today in the chip or potato business is living sustainability.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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