Reducing Our Environmental Impact
In our farming operations as well as our factories, we look for opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint and minimize our impact on the environment. We play a leadership role in national efforts to protect honey bees and we are strong advocates for sustainable farming practices.
The fact that wild blueberries are never planted and the soil never tilled means we produce a naturally low carbon-loss crop. Here are some of the other measures we take to steward natural resources:
Pest Management. Wyman’s farms in Maine and PEI fully employ Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. Wild blueberry farmland is a root system that is mowed, but the soil is never tilled thus avoiding carbon loss. The mulch from the mowing is left on the field for compost purposes.
- During 2011 Wyman’s scored 99% (Maine) and 93% (PEI) on SYSCO’s Sustainable/IPM Audit. This core competency helped Wyman’s achieve Top 100 Supplier status with SYSCO.
Compost: All of Wyman's harvest processing shrink (leaves, stems, green and crushed berries) is composted each year. During 2011, 2,617 cubic yards of compost were returned to our fields in the fall.
Water: Wyman's has irrigation for over 40% of its fields in Maine. This system is fed by a network of storage impoundments that captures surplus water and reduces demand on the local aquifer. During processing season, over 90% of the water used per day is recycled.
- Wyman’s not only seeks to maximize recycling in its operations but favors vendors who maintain proactive recycling programs.
- We recycle our plastic field boxes, waste oil, mixed paper, plastic, cardboard, chemical jugs and steel. In 2011, for example, we recycled 50.5 tons of steel. For every ton, we saved 3,600 lbs of CO2, 2,500 lbs of iron ore, 1,400 lbs of coal, and 120 lbs of limestone.
- Our corrugated boxes contain an average of 65% recycled and post-consumer waste, ranging from a minimum of 39% to a maximum of 100%.
- Organic Fish Fertilizer: We began testing organic fish fertilizer on select PEI fields in 2011, resulting in larger berries (improved yield/acre). These tests were expanded to Maine fields in 2012.
- Non-Chemical Pest Control: We invested in solar panel powered units that attract insects and dispose of them in soapy water. Effective in concept, further testing is ongoing.
Sustainable Food Lab: Wyman’s is a proud member of the Sustainable Food Lab, a collaborative group of private industry, NGOs and government agencies, working together to accelerate the shift to food sustainability worldwide.