Columbine Vineyards sets a new standard for sustainably grown
Columbine Vineyards, producer of the popular Holiday table grapes in California’s San Joaquin Valley, has now become the first Sustainably Grown Certified table grapes producer in the U.S. The new certification represents the significant impacts Columbine Vineyards has made over the past few years, including water conservation (843 million gallons saved), styrofoam reduction (54 percent reduction) and carbon sequestration (5,200 metric tons), the equivalent to 1140 cars off the roads annually.
The official certification comes through SCS Global, a pioneer and leader in the field of sustainability standards and third-party certification. The SCS Sustainably Grown certification program is one of the world’s most strict, with standards and initiatives that provide a framework for environmental stewardship and social responsibility. As a result of certification, all of Columbine’s grape brands, including Holiday grapes, will now carry the SCS Kingfisher Sustainably Grown certification mark.
“I have been working in sustainable agriculture for a long time now, and it is rare to see the level of dedication that the Columbine Vineyards team brought to their recent Sustainably Grown audit,” said Kevin Warner, manager of sustainable agriculture at SCS Global. “They committed ten solid months to audit preparation and integrated the best practices of sustainability into every facet of their operation. What gets me really excited is the impact they are having in terms of environmental protection and the fair treatment of farmworkers.”
Columbine Vineyard’s new Sustainably Grown certification focuses on three areas of responsibility:
• Environmental Stewardship — An emphasis on water conservation, including a comprehensive approach to irrigation management, maximizing water efficiency with the latest technology and impeccable ground level implementation. Columbine also focuses on soil health using an innovative soil-fortifying initiative to introduce diversified bacteria and fungi on the microbiological level to revive dead soil.
• Social Responsibility — Growing safe, quality food while promoting farmer welfare and giving employees access to health resources ensures a safe, hygienic working environment. Also included is a COVID-19 vaccine accessibility program.
• Economic Stability — Columbine Vineyards continues to explore how the community interacts with the business, and how the business interacts with the community in order to support future generations of farmers.
“This new certification brings commitment and accountability to Columbine Vineyard’s existing growing practices,” said Vincent Sorena, vice president of compliance at Columbine Vineyards. “When shoppers see the new Sustainably Grown certification mark on our Holiday grapes this season, they can be confident they are choosing a brand that prioritizes environmental, social, and economic sustainability.”
The certification comes just ahead of the Holiday grapes’ highly anticipated 2021 season, which returns late August through December. These red grapes have been loved by fans over the years for their extra-large, seedless berry size with a crisp yet juicy texture that “pops” in your mouth delivering a full, ultra-sweet flavor. They are hand-harvested and distributed fresh-from-the-vine. Holiday grapes are packed with immune-boosting nutrients and antioxidants. Once ripe, they are hand-harvested and distributed fresh-from-the-vine resulting in an unforgettable table grape experience perfect for breakfast, snacks, desserts and beverages.