Earth Month 2020: Going All In

4earth

4Earth Farms’ approach to sustainability is that it’s both the right thing to do and good for business – so they’re going to go all in! This long-term Markon supplier is making steps forward all the time and now trying to make their progress more measurable. That’s why they’re next in our Earth Month series, that highlights the partners who share Markon’s commitment to people and the planet.

When our customers want rambutan or kiwano fruit, 4Earth has our back. They’re a grower-shipper offering a wide range of different fruits and vegetables, including the more hard-to-find varieties. By providing cross-dock logistics for Markon – one-stop shopping that prevents trucks from having to drive more miles to more locations – 4Earth already makes produce distribution more sustainable. And now they’re working to reduce energy and water use and decrease waste in the 160,000 square foot production room where they wash and bag produce.

One recent 4Earth initiative channeled Markon’s historic achievement of being first in the industry to distribute iceless broccoli. “We challenged the status quo on the tradition of packing produce in ice and found it wasn’t keeping it any fresher,” said 4Earth’s VP Marketing & Strategy Mark Munger. “Cutting out ice in our shipping cartons allowed us to eliminate non-recyclable wax boxes and saves a lot of water!”

4Earth’s biggest, hairiest and most audacious goal is to convert to 100% recyclable packaging by 2025 and 10% from post-consumer recycled.  They’re already making strides – for example, they found that they can make plastic film thinner and still maintain the integrity of the packaging. A small change like this makes a big impact over an entire product line. And they feel that Markon supports them in taking these sorts of innovative steps.

“We have a great, strategic relationship with Markon – we make each other better,” said Mark. “They challenge us to raise the bar and drive innovation on everything from our cost to operate to food safety. They have a great reputation in the industry – it’s a badge of honor for us to work with Markon.”

Visit 4Earth Farms to find out more.

Markon premium produce is available exclusively from these distributors:

Gordon Food Service Gordon Food Service – Canada Shamrock Foods Company Nicholas and Company Ben E. Keith Foods

 

Diners are increasingly hyper-focused on high-protein and plant-based foods. Alongside all of the new-fangled, lab-based, cell-cultured options out there is the humble bean. A staple food for millenia, beans are being re-examined as a healthy, versatile ingredient worthy of menu inclusion.

  • Retro and heirloom recipes—like Southern succotash, French cassoulet, and Cajun red beans and rice—fit the bill for those in search of authenticity.
  • Most world cuisines incorporate some type of bean in their classic dishes. Think feijoada in Brazil, black beans and rice with plantains in Puerto Rico, and garbanzo beans in Israel. Modern interpretations of these recipes are packed with produce and herbs.
  • The creamy texture of mung beans is proving an ideal substitute for those that are eliminating soy from their diets.