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Our great-grandfather started Deardorff- Jackson Company in Los Angeles, California  with a simple philosophy to provide customers with the freshest, best-tasting fruits and vegetables available. Along with our grand-father,  the two men remained true to this philosophy and built one of the most well respected family businesses on the West Coast.  The company’s produce in the 1930’s and 40’s came from Venice, Hollywood and Los Angeles, California.  In the 1950’s and 60’s, urbanization forced the company to move operations into Orange County (to the south of Los Angeles) and Ventura County (to the north of Los Angeles).  Bill and Tom Deardorff joined the company during these times and represented the third generation of Deardorff’s to join the family business.  Bill and Tom followed the same core philosophy of their ancestors while adding the commitment to always try to be on the leading edge of innovation in the produce industry.  This challenge resulted in the company making many key introductions in farming, packaging and cooling of fresh produce. 

Today, the family business is operated in Ventura County by the fourth generation of Deardorffs. We continue to follow the philosophies and chanlleges set forth by our ancestors.  We are doing this by, among many other things, engaging in what we call sustainable farming practices.  This component of our business is described in greater detail below.





Scott Deardorff
Secretary
Tom Deardorff, II
President




We have committed ourselves to engaging in sustainable business practices that balance economic, environmental and social outcomes.  This involves the implementation of business and farming practices that conserve natural resources and energy, protect the environment and enhance relationships with employees and local communities.  This also involves marketing and business management solutions that will ensure the long-term success of our family business.     

Our commitment to sustainability will be a constantly evolving process.  We are constantly conducting self assessments of our various operations and monitor the best science based solutions for adding new levels of sustainability.  Below are some general examples of programs we have already implemented:

Environmental
Use programs that reduce and in some cases eliminate pesticide, herbicide, synthetic fertilizer and other chemical uses.
Use of beneficial insects and other soft programs as part of an integrated pest management program.
Use of cropping patterns that restore nutrients and combat disease in order to naturally obtain land fertility.
Protect adjacent natural habitats by reducing and in some cases eliminating harmful migration of nutrients off the farm.
Promote healthy soil by using micro-organisms, organic matter, cover crops and other natural constituents to build soil structure and fertility.
Reduce runoff and erosion.
Maximize water efficiency.
Where appropriate, use packaging that is made from recyclable sources and/or is recyclable, compostable, reusable or designed to use less material.
Use office supplies that are made from recycled sources and recycle office supplies after use.
Adopt energy saving solutions for cooling and packing operations.

Social
Provide a safe, clean, efficient and socially responsible work environment for all employees.
Pay wages that are competitive and provide health insurance to all employees.
Support community efforts for affordable farm worker housing and health care.
Support higher education programs for Latinos and others in the local community.
Strengthen relationships with the community by participating in outreach programs to educate the general public about living near farms.
Support 5-a-Day campaign and similar programs to promote health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption.
Support Western Growers School Garden Program and similar endeavors to educate children on health topics to assist the eradication of childhood obesity.

The specific programs that have been implemented to address these areas are too numerous and changing to list. Some highlights are:

Use of the first of its kind recyclable celery box that eliminates the need for petroleum based wax boxes.
Installing variable speed motors and complete conversion of cooling equipment to achieve significant reduction in energy use. Program qualified for a design efficiency grant from Southern California Edison.
Donation at the named sponsor level to the Destino Legacy Fund – a local charity for Latinos seeking higher education.
Not only providing health insurance coverage to all employees, but also requiring our primary labor contractor to also provide their employees with the same benefits.
Provide free, confidential health screenings at company facilities to employees during work hours.
Annual support of agricultural worker scholarship funds through the California Strawberry Commission and Ventura County Community Foundation.
Use of a reduced material strawberry box and recyclable clamshell containers.
Implement program to transition farmland to certified organic.
Offering certified pesticide free products.