Backyard Farms Tomatoes Considered The ‘Best’ By Whole Foods Market
Premium tomato grower earns highest rating from leading natural and organic foods retailer
MADISON, Maine, November 4, 2014 – Backyard Farms, the largest grower of year-round tomatoes in New England, announced today that Whole Foods Market has designated
Backyard Farms tomatoes with a“Best” rating as part of the natural and organic foods retailer’s Responsibly Grown program. This is the highest ranking that the grocer assigns to produce available forpurchase in its stores.
The Whole Foods Market Responsibly Grown program was developed to reward farmers who work hard to protect human health and the environment, prohibit the use of the most harmful chemicals while measuring and reducing others, and provide consumers with an at-a-glance rating for sustainable farming practices. The program is in direct response to issues facing the agricultural industry including the widespread use of pesticides, the accessibility of fresh water, the loss of farmable land due to erosion and other degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and the decline of bee and butterfly pollinator populations.
“We are thrilled to receive a ‘Best’ rating from Whole Foods Market,” said Stuart Jablon, president and COO of Backyard Farms. “We share many of the same corporate values, of which several are recognized with this rating, and Whole Foods Market is an outstanding partner to work with both in general and as part of this rating process. It is a strong statement that a grower of our size was able to work with Whole Foods Market in a meaningful and thoughtful manner. Whole Foods Market set very high standards as part of this program and we appreciate that they were able to recognize and understand all of the hard work our employees put in to make these standards a reality for Backyard Farms customers.”
Backyard Farms earned the highest rating of “Best” by meeting or exceeding several criteria including 16 farming practices to protect air, soil, water and human health; no use of Whole Foods Market prohibited pesticides; water and energy conservation; advanced soil health; protection of rivers, lakes and oceans; farmworker health and safety; protection of bees and butterflies; and industry leadership on pest management and environmental protection. The designation follows Whole Foods Market recently having named Backyard Farms its North Atlantic Region Produce Supplier of the Year.
Responsibly Grown ratings include “Good,” “Better” and “Best.” Backyard Farms was selected to participate in the Responsibly Grown pilot program last year and was one of the first growers to receive the “Best” rating nationally. Backyard Farms tomato varieties include Tomatoes on the Vine, Cocktail Tomatoes, Beefsteaks and its newest offering, Somerset Pinks.
As proud as Backyard Farms is of its tomatoes, the company is also proud of its commitment to socially responsible agriculture, which strives to have a positive impact on all of the touch points needed to grow a great tasting tomato year-round – employees, consumers, the environment and the community.
For more information and store locations, visit backyardfarms.com.
About Backyard Farms
Located in Madison, Maine, Backyard Farms is committed to growing fresh, ripened-on-the-vine tomatoes year-round for consumers across the Northeast. All Backyard Farms tomatoes are non-GMO and are hydroponically grown in the company’s 42 acre greenhouse where they are left on the vine until fully ripe. They are then picked, packed, and shipped no further than a day’s drive to your local market, creating a tomato that is sweet and bursting with flavor. The company bases its business on the principles of growing the best tomatoes possible, taking care of its employees, giving back to local communities and treating the earth with respect.