The H.H. Dobbins companies strive to practice a balance of economic, environmental and social sustainability. We take great pride in our surrounding community and value the people who work here as one of our greatest assets. Healthy wages and favorable working conditions for our staff are beneficial to the growth of our companies. It is expected and required that our suppliers and service partners will practice similar beliefs and policies.
Sustainable agriculture was addressed by Congress in the 1990 Farm Bill [Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (FACTA), Public Law 101-624, Title XVI, Subtitle A, Section 1603 (Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1990) NAL Call # KF1692.A31 1990]. Under that law, “the term sustainable agriculture means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:
- Satisfy human food and fiber needs
- Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends
- Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls
- Sustain the economic viability of farm operations
- Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”
Examples of how we have made efforts to enhance our sustainable plan:
Some of our Growers are utilizing smart sprayers for application of pesticides. These sprayers are equipped with sensors that turn off the sprayer or sections of it when the sensors do not locate trees or matter that need pesticide application. This reduces the amount of pesticide applied per acre, makes the pesticide used more efficient and minimizes the amount of transport trips to and from the fill station.
In our Packing House we purchase recycled corrugate for our packing containers, when it is available. We also are recycling our corrugate waste and bailing it into tight, heavy bundles so that we can transport more pounds per delivery. By doing this we have reduced our waste delivery program to one transport per month instead of four. For some of our customers we are able to utilize returnable/reusable packing.
Our transportation team works within a local delivery network that allows us to share trucks and combine deliveries to nearby locations and reduce the number of trucks on the road and better utilize the capacity of the trucks we do hire.
Our office has a shared computer network that allows each member to share more documents without the need to print copies. Many of our customers and suppliers are able to share documents and accept documents electronically, reducing again the use of paper as well as delivery transport.
High efficiency lighting with motion sensors have been installed in all of our warehouses and office space to conserve energy. Our Cold Storage Facilities are operating on the Enersave computerized system. This system optimizes and minimizes the demand and schedule for electricity and runs in the most efficient capacity achieving rapid and efficient cooling.
Examples of recent advances to our working conditions
Packing House: All stations that require lifting have been height adjusted to the most ergonomically correct heights to reduce muscle strain from lifting. Training programs and documents have been developed, implemented and administered for positions and tasks that involve any chemical handling. Risk assessments have been administered for each position and station, safety adjustments have been made to minimize risks. Monthly meetings are held during production season to address any safety concerns, production and management staff are present, further studies are initiated to evaluate any potential risks.