Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Taylor Farms Becomes Industry’s First Fresh Food Company Awarded TRUE Platinum Certification For Zero Waste


June 19, 2018 — Salinas and Gonzales, CA

Industry leading producer recognized for outstanding leadership in sustainability and environmental responsibility

Taylor Farms, a leading producer of value-added healthy fresh foods, is the first in the fresh food industry to achieve TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Platinum certification. The TRUE Zero Waste certification system enables facilities to define, pursue and achieve their zero waste goals, cutting their carbon footprint and supporting public health. This certification showcases Taylor Farms’ continued efforts of ingraining sustainable practices into their culture and reducing waste at all operating facilities.

“Taylor Farms recognizes that by pursuing zero waste they are helping us build a sustainable future for all,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council and GBCI. “Waste impacts all facets of business and changing the way we use resources will deliver public health benefits, reduce our environmental impact and advance a greener economy.”

Taylor Farms’ Gonzales, CA based facility launched the Zero Waste Program in April 2017. Over the lifetime of the program, the facility decreased landfill contribution by 56 percent, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30,923 MTCO2E, equivalent to taking 6,510 cars off the road annually.

“We are very honored to receive the highest level of recognition through the TRUE certification program for our Gonzales facility,” said Nicole Flewell, director of sustainability, Taylor Farms. “We’re striving for certification across all operations at Taylor Farms and are focused on enabling employees with the correct tools and training to help us meet this goal.”

In addition to the efforts behind this recognition, the Gonzales facility utilizes various renewable and alternative energy resources to help meet Taylor Farms’ sustainability goals. The site features a three-part system that includes a wind turbine, solar and cogeneration energy systems. These systems together generate 4.2 MW of energy, a 90 percent energy offset, which is used to run the 192,000 sq. ft. fresh processing plant.

“This is a great achievement for Taylor Farms,” said Zach Freeze, senior director of sustainability, Walmart. “As a participating supplier in Walmart’s Project Gigaton, Taylor Farms is showing their commitment to reduce waste and emissions in their operations, while continuing to provide fresh products for our customers and we are glad to see them be recognized for their efforts.”

Spearheaded by Taylor Farms’ director of sustainability Nicole Flewell, the Gonzales Green Team and employees worked together to reduce incoming materials, reuse existing materials when possible and recycle what remained throughout the facility, completing this initiative in 14 months. The Gonzales Green Team, led by Sam Chaidez, director of operations, Taylor Farms Gonzales, is comprised of managers from departments across the facility including production, receiving, shipping, facilities, sanitation, purchasing and quality assurance.

A key element of this program focused on working upstream to eliminate wax carton from the supply chain. Led by the raw product procurement team, the group worked with Taylor Farms’ growing partners to move to 100 percent reusable bins and totes, eliminating all single use and wax cartons.

To complete this project, Taylor Farms partnered with Measure to Improve, an organization that specializes in helping growers, shippers, packers and processors measure, improve, and promote sustainability efforts. Throughout the implementation, Measure to Improve provided onsite support, training and data tracking.

For more information about TRUE Zero Waste certification, visit

About Taylor Farms
Taylor Farms is North America’s favorite maker of salads and healthy fresh foods. Taylor Farms is grounded in a commitment to quality with products harvested, packaged and shipped at the peak of freshness. Taylor Farms focuses on innovation by consistently developing new products and improving production methods. Taylor Farms is family owned and based in Salinas, California with fourteen production facilities throughout North America.



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