Standards Development

The Protected Harvest program starts with a process of determining a set of sustainable agricultural practices that will yield the highest environmental performance in the areas of water, air, soil, and wildlife protection and deliver social benefits to workers and the community.

The Protected Harvest Sustainability Council and staff is ready to collaborate with qualified organizations to develop region and crop- specific measurable and verifiable environmental performance standards.

The following practices are typical of what would be included in a Protected Harvest certification program:

Whole Farm/Environmental Management

  • Protection of riparian buffers
  • Ecosystem restoration
  • Protection of endangered species
  • Training of growers and employees

Soil and Water Quality Management

  • Spill prevention
  • Use of composts, cover crops and manures
  • Reduction of fertilizer use
  • Maintaining orchard floor vegetation
  • Water conserving irrigation methods

Air Quality Management

  • Elimination of burning prunings
  • Road dust management
  • Use of low or no-emission irrigation pumps

Integrated Pest Management

  • Use of beneficial insects and pheromones to reduce pesticide use
  • Pruning and harvesting practices which reduce pest and disease problems
  • Non-chemical weed control methods
  • Fallow periods

The Protected Harvest program is progressive, in that it can evolve from year to year to incorporate new practices or technologies, emerging environmental issues, and growers’ increasing skill and knowledge. The comprehensive standards and progressive model means that producers can always find new opportunities to pursue sustainability on their farms.