2017 is a big year for us at Durst Organic Growers. We have decided to make a huge change in our packaging with many more changes to come. This summer we have replaced our green, plastic cherry tomato pint baskets with a new corrugated paper basket. In years past, we have used thousands of plastic baskets weekly during cherry tomato season. As the plastic pint baskets are a #5 plastic, they aren't always included in the standard recycling stream and thus often get thrown away. Our new baskets are completely recyclable and compostable.
This adjustment is a costly one, but represents a huge shift for us as we bring the same principles we use for growing our crops to our packaging. We believe in producing clean, organic produce for our consumers and in the same vein, believe that treating our planet with respect and keeping it clean is equally important. This is just the beginning for us as we begin to overhaul our packaging and the other elements of our farm to align with our philosophy. We do still have plastic clam shells that we sell our tomatoes in for other quantities, but we are currently working on ways to shift that packaging as well. A lot of these decisions pit environmental consciousness against convenience, consumer expectations, and practicality in the farm system (how we harvest, transport, etc.). Many times, industries go with flow of what has always been done, and while we recognize that is usually the cheaper option, it is not always the best method for the health of our people or our planet. As farming is inextricably linked to health of both people and planet, we believe it's our responsibility to make these moves and put our packaging where our mouth is (metaphorically speaking). We encourage you to look for our new packaging in stores near you and let us know what you think. We will keep you updated on more changes coming down the pipeline. Until then, go get those cherry tomatoes while they are ripe!